“Before the 2020 election, I said if I could know one fact about the results, I could tell you who was going to win Pennsylvania. Whoever wins Erie County will win Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said in a statement announcing the rally, “Erie County is Pennsylvania’s most important flagship county. I have visited Erie dozens and dozens of times in the past, and I am honored and proud to return here for the campaign electoral.
Donald Trump won Erie County in 2016 and Joe Biden captured it in 2020.
Fetterman takes on famed doctor Mehmet Oz in the November election. Oz has remained active on the campaign trail since winning the Republican primary, although he has come under fire for apparently taking trips to Ireland and Palm Beach, Florida.
Despite his absence from the campaign trail, a recent poll showed Fetterman with the advantage. Fetterman held an 11-point lead over Oz, 47% to 36%, in a Fox News poll released July 28. 3% supported independent candidate Everett Stern and 13% supported someone else or were undecided.
In an interview late last month with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — his first media interview since his stroke — Fetterman said he felt ready to get back on the track.
“I can miss a word once in a while in a conversation, or I can articulate two words. Even then, I think it’s infrequent,” Fetterman said. “So I feel like we’re ready to run, and that’s the only problem I have. This is the absolute truth, 100%.”
Fetterman’s campaign office announced on May 15, two days before the primary, that he suffered a stroke “caused by my heart clot in A-fib rhythm for too long.” Doctors worked to “quickly and completely remove the clot, reversing the stroke, they also brought my heart under control,” Fetterman said in the statement released by his campaign. Doctors attached a pacemaker with a defibrillator.
He told the Post-Gazette he had “no physical limitations,” walked four to five miles a day in 90-degree heat, understood words correctly, and didn’t had lost none of his memory. He said he worked with a speech therapist and sometimes had trouble hearing.
The race to fill the seat held by incumbent Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R) is considered one of the most competitive in the nation and will help determine majority control of the Senate.
The Republican National Senate Committee, the campaign arm of the GOP, mocked Fetterman with a count of his off-track days and an image of him with the words “Have you seen this person?”
He sent out another statement hours before the Fetterman campaign announcement, saying, “Another Friday without Fetterman.”