Who Is John Fetterman, The Lieutenant Governor Of Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor, John Fetterman, began his political career in 2005, but upon first glance at the towering man, one wouldn't expect him to be in politics. With his 6-foot, 8-inch height and imposing build, he looks more like an athlete. He doesn't dress like a typical politician either; Fetterman is often seen in public wearing jeans, or basketball shorts and hoodies instead of stuffy suits. As he said in an interview with Time, that's just the way he dresses.

Politics wasn't in Fetterman's mind in his early life, but it was a series of notable events that he experienced in his life that pushed him to make a difference. He was brought up in a middle-class family and dedicated his time to the youth mentoring network Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, as stated on his official website. From then on, Fetterman joined the AmeriCorps and helped his local community. It was in 2005 when he decided to run for mayor in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and since then, he has dedicated his life to fighting for the causes that he believes in.

John Fetterman's early years

John Fetterman was born to teen parents in York, Pennsylvania, in 1969. His father worked to pay his way through college, and he eventually became successful in the insurance industry and provide for his family. In high school and college, Fetterman played for his schools' football teams, and he studied to follow in his father's footsteps, as reported by Post-Gazette. However, his views changed after the accidental death of a dear friend, which made him evaluate his life's purpose.

It was during that time when Fetterman decided to volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, wherein he mentored an 8-year-old boy. The boy's father had died of AIDS and his mother had the disease as well. Before the mother's death, Fetterman promised to take care of the little boy until he graduates from college, and he fulfilled his promise (via John Fetterman). Fetterman then headed to the town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and it was in 2005 when he ran for mayor.

His time as mayor

John Fetterman described the borough of Braddock, Pennsylvania, as a "malignant beauty." He spent his time helping the youth achieved their GEDs, and it was upon their suggestion that he ran for mayor in 2005 and won by a single vote, according to The Washington Post. Fetterman shared that he was lucky to be born into a family that was able to give him everything he needed while growing up, and he acknowledged that not everyone has that.

Fetterman served as Braddock's mayor from 2005 until 2019, and during that time, preserved buildings, developed housing programs and community centers, and brought arts to the town. Per The Philadelphia Citizen, Fetterman also addressed poverty issues in the community by tapping business and organizations to help the underprivileged. He himself drove trucks filled with food to feed the homeless, and he held negotiations to keep utilities running in homes with delinquent payers. Furthermore, he founded Braddock Redux, which educates citizens and offers programs with the goal of improving the Braddock community.

The controversial shotgun incident

In 2013, John Fetterman became the subject of controversy when he used a shotgun to confront a Black man after he said he heard gunshots. According to Pittsburgh's Action News, Fetterman was outside his home with his young son when he heard a series of gunshots. Afterward, he saw a man running away. He called 911 but at the same time decided to pursue the individual before he could get away.

He used his vehicle to catch up with the man and got his shotgun to confront him, but he stated that he never aimed the gun at the man. Officers arrived shortly thereafter. The man was identified as Chris Miyares, who was unarmed and was only out for a jog. Miyares said that he also heard what sounded like gunshots, but he believed that the noise was from kids launching bottle rockets. Some called Fetterman out for racial profiling, but he explained that he wasn't even aware of the man's race or gender when he chased him, as he was bundled in winter clothing (via Business Insider). Admittedly, he said he was wrong in carrying the shotgun during the confrontation. In 2021, Miyares said of the incident that Fetterman has done good for the community and shouldn't be defined by what happened, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.

John Fetterman's tattoos

Apart from his tall stature, other things that immediately get noticed about John Fetterman are the tattoos that cover both his inner forearms. Upon first glance, they look like random numbers, but each tattoo has a special significance for the politician. In 2021, he took to Medium to explain what they mean to him. On his left arm are the numbers "15104," which is the zip code for Braddock, Pennsylvania, where he served as mayor for 15 years. It has become his home where he and his wife raise their three children.

On his right arm is a list of numbers that signify the dates when violent and senseless deaths occurred in Braddock during his time as mayor. The first date is "01.16.06," just a couple of weeks after he was elected. He further added that he is most proud of the almost six years of time that Braddock didn't lose a single life to gun-related incidents. In total, there were 10 violent deaths in Braddock — a town of 2,000 — during his time as mayor.

John Fetterman's political positions on various issues

When it comes to his political stance, John Fetterman said, "I'm just a Democrat that has always run on what I believe in, know to be true" (via NBC News). Throughout his years as a politician, Fetterman has been outspoken about his views regarding a number of issues. He is pro-choice when it comes to abortion, is for the legalization of marijuana, and supports prison reform, per On The Issues. In 2013, Fetterman also showed his support for same-sex couples by officiating marriage ceremonies even before it was legally recognized in the state of Pennsylvania.

Fetterman announced his desire to run for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania in 2017, and he was sworn into office in January 2019. He has made progress in the town of Braddock during his time as mayor, but he wanted to do more for the state of Pennsylvania (via the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania).