According to Tom Fitzgerald of the Inquirer, the Braddock Mayor and Senate candidate is endorsing Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President.
“Bernie Sanders and I are not traditional, establishment candidates – and we don’t want to be. Politics today has become more about special interests and big money, and establishment politicians have forgotten where actual people fit into that equation,” Fetterman stated. “Bernie and I entered our respective races because we believe in the kind of politics that’s about standing up for people instead of catering to corporate influence. We represent everyday working people that have otherwise been disenfranchised from the political process by the millionaires and billionaires.”
Fitzgerald reports that Fetterman is the only statewide candidate to endorse Sanders so far. According to FiveThirtyEight, Congressmen Keith Ellison (MIN) and Raul Grijalva (ARI) are the only major elected officials backing Sanders right now.
In some ways the move makes sense strategically as Fetterman’s opponents both served in the Clinton Administration. McGinty was Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality while Sestak was Director of Defense Policy on the National Security Council.
Additionally, Sanders has had some success running as an insurgent outsider candidate and Fetterman would likely want to follow that model.
Finally, there is the possibility that Sanders could be a close ally in the Senate should his presidential effort fail while Fetterman’s campaign succeeds.
There is also, of course, the danger that a Democrat faces whenever they cross the Clintons.
For example, Rep. Patrick Murphy endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2007. In 2012, Murphy was the front-runner in the Democratic primary for Attorney General. Then, Bill Clinton endorsed and even headlined a rally for a little-known Scranton prosecutor name Kathleen Kane. The rest is history.
UPDATE: The Fetterman campaign has released a video to go allow with the announcement: