Fetterman Benefitted From Poor Lamb Campaign
By Bob Small
Despite his hospitalization for a stroke, during Stroke Awareness Month, Lt Gov. John Fetterman won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate with almost 60 percent of the vote.
He won because of an inept campaign by his main opponent. There may have been other factors restricting the vote totals of his other two opponents, such as homophobia and Islamaphobia.
Fetterman’s main opponent, Congressman Conor Lamb (D-17), was widely expected to mount a strong challenge, but not so.
“It’s one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever seen run,” Democratic Party strategist Mike Mikus said in an interview in McClatchy DC.
Lamb received around 26 percent of the vote.
“Voters told the New York Times they saw Conor Lamb as another Joe Manchin,” said political commentator Krystal Ball.
So much for centrists.
State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-181), with 10 percent of the vote, was hoping to be the first Black man and first gay person to be a Pennsylvania senator.
His campaign promised to work towards abolishing the Electoral College and to establish a moratorium on new fracking sites. He often campaigned with his husband, Dr. Matthew Jordan Miller Kenyatta.
There’s a short documentary about Kenyatta’s previous election run called “Going Forward,” created by Seven Knots Productions.
In an interview after his loss, Kenyatta stated that “Allowing any one of these Republicans to become Pennsylvania’s senator will be the canary in the coal mine for democracy dying on our watch,” said Kenyatta in an interview after his loss.
Not quite a centrist.
The fourth and final candidate was Alex Khalil, a Jenkintown councilwoman and a long-time Democratic activist. She has electrical engineering and law degrees from Temple University, and a library and information technology degree from Drexel.
“We really didn’t have enough help for small businesses in this country,” she said regarding government aid during the pandemic. Another issue of concern to her is the inclusion of more job-training programs for students.
She mentions some really innovative ideas, including “the right to farm”, PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes), which would affect the endowments of colleges and universities, and funding for high-speed rail in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Khalil was hoping to be the first woman elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania, as well as the first Muslim senator. She is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants.