HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the leading Democrat in the state’s high-profile Senate race, suffered a stroke but is on his way to a “full recovery,” he said. his campaign on Sunday.
Fetterman, 52, said in a statement that he was not feeling well Friday and went to the hospital at the urging of his wife.
BREAKING: Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D), a candidate for US Senate, is hospitalized in Lancaster following a stroke. The statement says he is feeling better, there is no cognitive impairment according to doctors and he will make a full recovery. @CBSPhilly @juanfetterman pic.twitter.com/2Y48vmEIJs
—Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) May 15, 2022
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“I had a stroke caused by a clot in my heart that was in an atrial fibrillation rhythm for too long,” Fetterman said in a statement. He said doctors were able to remove the clot, “reversing the stroke,” and checked his heart.
“The good news is that I feel much better and the doctors tell me that I did not suffer any cognitive damage,” he says in the statement.
The stunning revelation, which comes just two days before Pennsylvania’s primary election, creates deep uncertainty for Democrats in a state that represents one of their best chances to win the Senate in the nation.
Fetterman said he will stay in the race.
“Our campaign is not slowing down one bit, and we are still on track to win this primary on Tuesday and flip this Senate seat in November,” the statement said. “Thank you for all the support, and please get out there and vote.”
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Questions about Fetterman’s health swirled over the weekend after he canceled public appearances scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Her campaign cited a health issue, but was not specific until Sunday.
While thousands of early votes have already been cast, Pennsylvania Democrats will pick their general election candidate Tuesday from a four-person field that includes Fetterman, three-term Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.
Fetterman is the heavy favorite. He has led in the polls and in fundraising since the beginning, even when the party establishment sided with Lamb. Despite such support, Lamb struggled to reach voters or even pierce Fetterman’s strong standing with primary voters.
Fetterman, who is 6-foot-8, has been open about his weight-loss drive in the past. He weighed over 400 pounds before losing almost 150 pounds in 2018.
His imposing stature has been a large part of his political appeal.
The former mayor of western Pennsylvania has tattoos on his arms, a clean-shaven head and a goatee. He swears on social media and wears shorts pretty much everywhere, even in winter.
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