Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, takes the stage at an election night party in Pittsburgh, early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Election 2022 Pennsylvania Senate
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, takes the stage at an election night party in Pittsburgh, early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Fetterman will represent the commonwealth in Washington alongside fellow Democrat Bob Casey Jr., marking the first time Pennsylvania has had two senators elected as Democrats since the 1940s.

Though he wasn’t wearing his trademark hoodie and shorts, John Fetterman was sworn in Tuesday as the 54th US Senator in Pennsylvania history, taking over the seat of Republican Pat Toomey, who did not seek reelection.

Fetterman, 53, will represent the commonwealth in Washington alongside fellow Democrat Bob Casey Jr., marking the first time Pennsylvania has had two senators elected as Democrats since the 1940s. 

Fetterman defeated celebrity surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz in a contentious Senate race. His victory was crucial in helping Democrats maintain their slim Senate majority, and could prove key to the future of issues like reproductive freedom, LGBTQ+ rights, the decriminalization of marijuana, and immigration reform. 

Of the seven new Senate members sworn in Tuesday, Fetterman was the only one who flipped party control of his seat. The other six new senators are all replacing members of the same party.

New Republican senators are Ted Budd of North Carolina, Katie Britt of Alabama, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Eric Schmitt of Missouri and J.D. Vance of Ohio.

Vermont’s Peter Welch is the only other new Democrat, replacing Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is retiring after almost five decades in the seat.

The hulking Fetterman heads to Capitol Hill after revitalizing the Western Pennsylvania town of Braddock as its mayor, and serving as Lieutenant Governor under Gov. Tom Wolf for the last four years. His anti-political establishment persona earned him national visibility even before the Senate race, and he doubled down on that Washington outsider stance during the campaign, stating “our economy is a mess because of Washington, [and] the rich, powerful, the insiders, and the lobbyists.” 

After suffering a stroke in May, just days before the Pennsylvania primary, Fetterman returned to the campaign trail near the end of the summer. In October his doctor stated that Fetterman was “recovering well from his stroke” and could “work full duty in public office.”