Pennsylvania’s Democrat nominee for U.S. Senate, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, said, “I believe that I run on my record on crime,” during his debate against Republican Mehmet Oz Tuesday night.
Moderator Dennis Owens of WHTM asked Fetterman to react to the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association’s decision to endorse Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the governor’s race but Oz in the Senate race. Owens also asked for a response to “accusations that [he is] “dangerously soft on crime.'” Fetterman doubled down on his record on crime and cited his time as mayor of the small town Braddock, PA:
I believe that I run on my record on crime. I ran to be Mayor back in 2005 in order to fight gun violence, and that’s exactly what I did. In working with the police and working with our community, I was able to stop gun violence for five and half years as mayor. Ever [sic] accomplished before or since my time as mayor because I’m the only person on this stage right now that has successful [sic] about pushing against gun violence and being [sic] the community more safe. You know all he’s done is just put a plan up on his website in the last 24 hours. He has no experience; he has never made any attempt to try to address crime in his entire career except showing up for photo-ops here in Philadelphia.
In his response, Oz explained that it was not only the PSTA that endorsed him but also the Fraternal Order of Police of Braddock (FOB):
The fraternal order of police from Braddock, the small town he represented endorsed me, they supported me, because what he is saying is not true. Violence sky-rocketed in Braddock, I mean the town wasn’t in a good shape when John got there; it got worse when he was there. People kept leaving, so, of course, you’re going to have all kinds of aberrations, but John the city was dangerous under your leadership and that’s why the F.O.B. endorsed me.
As lieutenant governor, Fetterman chairs the state’s five-person Board of Pardons, which saw prison commutation recommendations for those facing life sentences to Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf skyrocket.
From March 2019 through April 2022, the board sent at least 46 commutation recommendations to Gov. Tom Wolf (D).
“That’s compared with just six in Wolf’s first term, none under former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s one term, and only five during former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell’s eight years in office,” as the Philadephia Inquirer’s Julia Terruso reported in May.
“Pennsylvania families want a Senator who will fight to protect them, not the violent criminals,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “That bodes poorly for Pennsylvania criminals’ favorite candidate, John Fetterman.”