John Fetterman, Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and Democratic Senate nominee, speaks in a recorded message during a primary election night in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Justin Merriman | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pennsylvania Lt. gov. John Fetterman raised $1.6 million in just 24 hours after winning the Democratic primary to contest for the state’s all-important vacant US Senate seat, his campaign said Thursday.
Fetterman, 52, raised these funds after suffering a stroke last week that kept him from campaigning in the closing days of the primary. He underwent successful pacemaker surgery on Tuesday, the day of the election.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support,” Fetterman said through his campaign Thursday. “I am deeply honored to be your nominee and I look forward to dyeing this seat blue in November.”
The Fetterman campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for more details about the donations.
Fetterman will run in the general election against the winner of the Republican Senate primary, who has not yet produced a candidate.
Top contenders, ex-hedge funder Dave McCormick and Trump-backed celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz, are locked in a head-to-head race that seems headed for a recount. The campaigns of the two candidates have each predicted that they will emerge victorious.
The progressive Fetterman’s laid-back style and populist politics endeared him to the Pennsylvania Democrats: Fetterman won every district in the state, NBC News projected.
According to NBC, he defeated his closest rival in the primary, US Representative Conor Lamb, by nearly 33 percentage points.
Fetterman’s campaign had nearly $1.87 million in cash available at the end of April, according to recent Federal Election Commission filings. Fetterman had raised more than $16 million in total as of April 27, FEC data shows.
The race to fill the seat vacated by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey could prove to be one of the Midterms’ most important fights. Democrats are trying not to lose control of the Senate, which is split evenly between 50 Republicans and the 50 senators who are at loggerheads with Democrats — while Vice President Kamala Harris is holding a crucial vote.
The Pennsylvania Senate race could offer Democrats their best chance of turning a red seat blue.
The party quickly got behind Fetterman. In a statement Tuesday night, President Joe Biden said Democrats are “united around John.”
Fetterman “understands that working-class families in Pennsylvania and across the country have been doled out for far too long,” Biden’s statement said. “It is time to come to terms with them and the election of John to the United States Senate would be a huge step forward for working class people in Pennsylvania.”