Braddock's Unconventional Mayor to Seek U.S. Senate Seat

Reshaping Braddock’s image has earned John Fetterman national attention.


PHOTO BY HARRY GIGLIO

Though called “The Mayor of Rust” by New York Times Magazine, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman is by no means a rusty politician.

Now, he’s ready to expand his political reach as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Fetterman will make his official announcement Monday at his home, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He will face Joe Sestak, who won the Democratic primary in 2010 but lost to Republican Pat Toomey in the general election, and Katie McGinty, who launched an unsuccessful bid for Pennsylvania Governor last year.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Braddock was the place for steel production and hosted a population of more than 20,000. After the steel industry decline, Braddock had become a place where redevelopment had “continually taken two steps forward and one back.”

Reshaping Braddock’s image has been one of Fetterman’s main goals since taking office in 2006. With the help of locals, urban renewal now is top of mind. Green-minded, land-banking initiatives and the pioneer-mentality are strong public interests. Bearing witness to his personal stand against violence in the community, one of Fetterman’s forearm tattoos displays the dates of deaths to crime since he took office.

Fetterman’s active and unconventional leadership style will certainly make the 2016 senate campaign interesting.