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Fetterman: It’s Crucial We Connect with Rural PA

Over the last two election cycles, Pennsylvanians in rural sections of the commonwealth have become even friendlier toward Republican candidates. That fact has not been lost in Democratic circles.

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, understands that the party cannot afford to write off these counties while focusing time, energy and dollars on the cities and their suburbs.

Fetterman brought his campaign to Mercer County last weekend and said it was important to not think of rural areas as “going red” and to continue visiting all 67 counties in PA to meet with as many people as possible.

“We have to have the conversation with as many folks as we can,” said Fetterman to supporters at the Apollo Maennerchor Club in Sharon. “It’s about closing the gap and having a better, fuller understanding of what these counties need.”

Other candidates attending the event included U.S. House candidates Dan Pastore and Rick Telesz; lieutenant governor candidate Brian Sims; and state representative candidates Mitchel Henderson and Tim McGonigle. Malcolm Kenyatta, running for the Senate nomination against Fetterman, had representatives at the event.

Among the issues facing rural Pennsylvanians include broadband internet service and access to healthcare. Expanding broadband coverage could lead to greater business development in economically disadvantaged areas.

In 2018, nearly 3.4 million people – approximately 26 percent of the state’s 12.8 million residents – lived in Pennsylvania’s 48 rural counties according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And over the last two decades, PA’s rural population became more racially diverse with nearly 150,000 – a gain of four percent of the total population.

Pastore, running in the 16th District, said it is important to retain and create good-paying jobs to help revive the economy. “We are a very diverse district,” he told the Sharon Herald. “We have urban areas like Sharon and Erie, and then we have very rural areas.”

“Rural communities are resilient,” said Rob Morgan, Pennsylvania state director for the U.S. Department of Agricultural Rural Development, to the Bradford Era. “As the success of rural America goes, so goes the rest of the country.”

The message that Fetterman is delivering is also resonating with Republicans such as Francis Auriemmo, who voted for Donald Trump.

“Just (Fetterman’s) thoughts on revitalization, that shows promise,” he said to NPR. “Now it’s my understanding, when he was mayor, he did do a lot. And if he had that much energy for his own town (Braddock, Pa.), he just might have that much energy for the state.”

Fetterman, who made other stops throughout northwestern Pennsylvania last weekend, was told recently that he had entered “enemy territory.”

“No, not enemy territory,” Fetterman replied, “just friends we haven’t met yet.”

10 Responses

  1. I just don’t get why the country people wouldn’t want to be more like Philadelphia and every other decaying, impoverished, crime-ridden city that’s been run entirely by Democrats for decades on end. Of course! It’s all because they’ve been brainwashed by Fox News!

  2. The commenters here want to insult the people they are trying to win over. Rural counties don’t vote for Dems because they are stupid and watch Fox News. I guarantee you will not win votes with that attitude. The Dems have a wing of the Party that wants to defund the police and wants to ban fracking and outlaw all guns. They tend to be unyielding on these issues. People in the rural counties tend to not want to defund the police and are more conservative. It will take a lot of compromising to get rural folks into the Dem camp.

    1. The rural communities are like 100 to 1 white vs black. I don’t think they have the first clue about the reforms for urban vs rural policing, and they fail to understand that there are preventable deaths by police by sending social services instead when mental health is problem.

      The Dems don’t want to “outlaw all guns”. But, there is no legitimate purpose for assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, armor piercing bullets, and other weapons for basic home defense. The US outlawed the tommy-guns of depression era gangsters, without violating the 2nd amendment.

      The rural communities are the ones suffering from fracking pollution and high cancer rates.

      However, you forget that the Dems want Medicare to be able to negotiate prices and lower prescription costs (especially for things like insulin which are inexpensive to produce).

      1. Turn your television to any of the news channels, you’ll see a 24/7 advertisement for why everyone should have a semi auto rifle and several thousand rounds of ammo.

  3. Fetterman is right, but Dems are not the problem, except those Dems who have been pandering to the rightwing mob, instead of standing up to them and educating them to reality. Yes, it is a hard slog, but necessary. Putin, Trump, GOP, Fox News have been brainwashing these people for years.

  4. The real problem in rural areas is they’ve listened to 30 years of the Fox News / Rush Limbaugh shuck n jive lies. Perfect example – I have an elderly lady in my neighborhood who is completely obsessed with spreading the Trump doctrine and anti-Democrats narrative to anyone she runs into. She holler from 100 yards away negative statements about Biden, Pelosi, Socialism etc. BUT, every day around 11:30 the Meals on Wheels van pulls up to her front to deliver her lunch. Several times a week, a small public transit van pulls right into her driveway and chauffeurs her around town for shopping, doctor appointments etc. oh and of course her mail is delivered everyday 10 feet from her front door and I’m sure every month a social security check is delivered. But all day, while she is enjoying her home delivered daily meal, Fox News or OAN is blasting over her TV telling her the evil Democrats are going ruin her life with socialism.

    1. What you are saying, which I know to be true, is that Fox News audience is stupid and superficial. The problem is not Dem party, but these rural PA assholes who are poorly educated and have been brainwashed by GOP/Fox News.

      1. Actually, no I’m not saying anyone is stupid. What I am saying is that 30 years of hammering the same right wing propaganda nonsense has programmed millions of people to believe it is true. While Murdoch was the fool with too much money to burn, the real evil genius behind a right wing propaganda machine was Roger Ailes. What caused Roger Ailes to come up with this pox on American journalistic integrity? Watergate. In the aftermath of Watergate, Ailes dreamed of a media platform that in the future would present an alternative reality that would spin against factual evidence like what brought down Nixon. Add to it, they can now brainwash millions to believe in things that are against their own interests. All the talking heads at Fox News now just launch theories, keep repeating them, and eventually their viewers take over and promote the theory as fact.

        1. If these people had a modicum of common sense, they wouldn’t be trapped in the fear mongering fed to them by right wing media outlets. Unfortunately, its a culture war in these areas. Us vs. them attitude. Trump is popular in these areas because he said the things they hesitated to say out loud. He exists because of people that like what he says.

          Having said that, Fetterman is right that you have to reduce margins in these places. Even a point or two helps.

          1. These people live in an area with very few Black people and are receptive to people like Tucker Carlson spreading fear and racism.

            The GOP didn’t give two craps about the funding the police with the Recovery Act. The GOP still doesn’t care about the Capitol police who were attacked Jan 6th.

            To these people “Law and Order” means keeping Black people out of their neighborhoods.

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