In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated celebrity television doctor Mehmet Oz in one of the most high-profile and expensive campaigns of the year.
Although endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Oz only earned 47.3 percent of the vote, losing to Fetterman’s 50.3 percent. The closely contested race was decided by a difference of approximately 56,735 votes early on Nov. 9.
Just after 2 a.m. ET, with about 93 percent of expected votes reported, Fetterman held the lead by more than 2 percentage points. Fetterman confirmed the victory via tweet shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning stating: “It’s official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. We bet on the people of Pennsylvania — and you didn’t let us down. And I won’t let you down. Thank you.”
Fetterman is the successor of Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican who decided not to seek re-election. With many expecting a red wave across states as the U.S. held 2022 midterm elections, Pennsylvania serves as representation of a swing state that was up for grabs and had mixed election results, or a purple state, as Democrats and Republicans faced closely contested races around the nation. Brian Stewart, the the manager of stakeholder engagement at the anti-racist economy organization, LeadersUp, expressed what this election could mean for future elections.
“I do not necessarily feel that U.S. politics are shifting into a positive direction, but rather feel strongly that one party is focused on saving democracy as we know it today while the other is complicit in the destruction of it. Pennsylvania shows us what can happen in Georgia,” Stewart said.
Considering the overall outcome of the 2022 midterm elections, Stewart expressed his thoughts around how democracy and political processes can be influenced by either political party.
“We literally saw a major party nominate and support election liars for governors—I won’t call them election deniers because you can’t deny something that is factually true, you can only lie about it or not accept it. Luckily, none of them have won or are projected to win their race,” Stewart said.
Chinedu Nwokeafor, a diversity, equity and inclusion specialist, expects resistance in the lead up to the 2024 elections from members of the U.S. population who disagree with political victors from this year’s midterm elections.
“In 2024, I expect there to be more election denial and a huge procession of Republicans working to undermine elections. Statistics are showing that Gen Z, millennials and Gen X will be the majority, as it pertains to voting age,” Nwokeafor said.
“Republicans are aware of this fact and will attempt to utilize power to subvert the will of the people. I am hoping that democracy can hold herself up, but I am not too optimistic of that being the case, ” he continued.
In other political contests in the state of Pennsylvania, Republican Sen. Guy Reschenthaler was elected to Congress. Allegheny County Republican Rep. Mike Turzai is expected to retain his position as speaker of the House and will be elected in January.
Democrats voted for Rep. Jordan Harris as whip and re-elected Minority Leader Frank Dermody, while Republicans in the state House elevated Rep. Bryan Cutler to be floor leader and made Rep. Kerry Benninghoff whip.
Rep. Cutler previously served as whip under current Majority Leader Dave Reed. Harris’ third term ends this month and he will take over as whip from Rep. Mike Hanna, R-Clinton, who did not seek re-election.
Republicans also returned Rep. Stan Saylor of York County to chairman of the influential Appropriations Committee and elevated Benninghoff, of Centre County, to the position of whip.
After falling short of their midterm expectations on Nov. 16, the Republican Party captured control of the House by obtaining the 218 seats required to claim the majority.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett