Opinion: Pa. Senate candidates are less than ideal


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The main candidates are John Fetterman for the Democrats and Dr. Mehmet Oz for the Republicans.

Ethan Stock, Staff Writer

As election day approaches, Pennsylvania voters considering the U.S. Senate race have two less than favorable candidates to choose from. 

The main candidates are John Fetterman for the Democrats and Dr. Mehmet Oz for the Republicans. Both candidates claim to have done a lot of good for their communities and country, and both have faced a fair share of controversy.

Oz is a first-time candidate running for Senate and hasn’t really ever been involved politically in Pennsylvania. He has sought out support from Trump-supporting MAGA voters, some of whom falsely claim the presidential election was stolen, and a small number of whom were involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

As a doctor, Oz would be expected to support abortion rights, but surprisingly he is not, and he is pushing for aggressive action against abortion. Also, despite being a physician, Oz constantly critiques Fetterman’s stroke and recovery process. 

In this week’s candidate debate, Oz made a very questionable statement about abortion: “I want women, doctors, local political leaders – letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive – to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.” With this statement, Oz has faced even more criticism and may lose voters. 

Fetterman, meanwhile, is not new to politics, having served as the mayor of Braddock from 2006 to 2019 and since then as the state’s lieutenant governor. 

Fetterman has put his time and effort into Braddock, but that doesn’t mean he’s avoided controversy. In 2013, while brandishing a shotgun, Fetterman chased down an unarmed Black jogger and detained him. Fetterman later said he had believed this innocent bystander had participated in an earlier shooting. 

It seems that while serving as “Braddock’s hero mayor,” Fetterman might have developed some sort of hero complex. 

During this week’s debate, meanwhile, Fetterman struggled to answer the questions completely. Given this struggle, many Pennsylvanians may reconsider their vote. 

Fetterman says he wants to lower tax rates for the working class, ban stock trading by members of Congress, end hospital price gouging, and lower incarceration rates. Most of these claims will probably fizzle out with time if he is elected. However, if he stays true to his promises, Fetterman could make some positive changes. 

While both of the candidates have seemingly increasingly controversial careers, the state’s better chance at getting good representation in the Senate is John Fetterman.