US Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to a crowd of supporters at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (Haley O'Brien) John Fetterman
US Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to a crowd of supporters at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (Haley O'Brien)

Both candidates said reproductive rights will be stripped away and job creation in Pennsylvania will suffer if their opponents, Dr. Oz and Lisa Scheller, win in November.

BETHLEHEM—John Fetterman and Susan Wild are making it clear: their Republican opponents are dangerous for Pennsylvania. 

“The future for all of us is dark if those two get elected,” Wild said to the crowd Saturday at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, referring to Fetterman’s opponent in the US Senate race, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and her own opponent in the race for US House in the 7th District, Lisa Scheller. “There is a national abortion ban that is already written and ready to be rolled out by House and Senate republicans.”

Wild and other local leaders welcomed Fetterman to Bethlehem to emphasize to voters what’s at stake in the November midterms. 

“We’ve got a lot of good things that have been going on in the House, we’ve passed a lot of good bills that have been stuck in Mitch McConnell’s graveyard, and we need to get those through the Senate,” Wild said.

Wild referenced legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a bill that would expand protections for workers’ rights to organize. Wild also wants the Senate to pass a $35 cap on insulin for everyone, not just seniors, and a more robust bill to negotiate drug prices for Medicare.

When an audience member yelled “ditch Mitch,” Wild replied: “The best way to ditch Mitch is to outnumber him.”

The Bethlehem stop was Fetterman’s second rally of the day, having appeared in Philadelphia earlier on Saturday. Fetterman was quick to tell the crowd of more than 1,000 how out of touch his opponent is with working Pennsylvanians, like those in the Lehigh Valley. 

“He blamed President Biden for closing Bethlehem Steel 27 years ago, and I’m the one who had a stroke,” he said, referring to an ad published by the Oz campaign. In the video, the celebrity surgeon points at the steelstacks while claiming President Joe Biden’s “bad trade deals shuttered Pennsylvania factories.” 

With an image of the steelstacks behind them, both candidates pointed out the importance of manufacturing in the US.

“We have the people power and the know-how to build the semiconductors that run the technology of the future and the renewable energy infrastructure that’s going to power it,” Wild said.

Wild took aim at Scheller, who is president and CEO of Siberline, a global manufacturing company headquartered in Tamaqua, for taking jobs away from the Lehigh Valley. Scheller’s company closed its plant in Lansford, Carbon County in 2016. Carbon is now part of the 7th Congressional District, which also includes parts of Monroe, Northampton, and Lehigh counties. 

“If it’s about manufacturing for her, it’s about China. It’s about slashing her American workforce by 60%, shutting down a plant in Carbon County,” she said. “And she’ll tell you that her company is American owned. Yeah. Guess what? She’s the American that owns the company, and it’s not the workers in Pennsylvania that are going to benefit.”

For the future of jobs and reproductive rights in Pennsylvania, Wild told the crowd that the stakes of the midterm elections could not be higher.

“It’s not enough to get a couple more Democratic senators, because if we lose the House we are right back where we started from,” Wild said. “The Democratic agenda is going to be dead in the water, because the people on the other side of the aisle that I work with and look at every single day when I’m in the House, they’re going to stop everything that we have done.”