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John Fetterman returning to the Pennsylvania campaign trail with first rally since stroke in May

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John Fetterman at a bar with kitchy signs
John Fetterman speaks with supporters as he arrives for a meet and greet campaign stop at the Interstate Drafthouse in Philadelphia on Sunday, April 3, 2016.Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
  • Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for Senate, is holding an Aug. 12 rally in Erie.

  • Fetterman suffered a stroke just before winning the Democratic primary in May.

  • Fetterman is running against Republican Mehmet Oz to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is holding his first rally since suffering a stroke more than two month ago, his campaign announced Friday.

The Democratic nominee for Senate, Fetterman has been sidelined since May as he recovers, limiting himself to a single interview and an appearance before campaign volunteers. The Pennsylvania race is one of the Democrats' best chances to pick up a Senate seat, with recent polls indicating that Fetterman is the current favorite to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

The rally, scheduled for Aug. 12, will take place in Erie.

In a statement on Friday, Fetterman echoed what he said in 2020 about the presidential election: "Whoever wins Erie, wins Pennsylvania." The county, which borders the great lake of the same name, was won by former President Donald Trump in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020.

"Erie County is Pennsylvania's most important bellwether county," Fetterman said. "I am honored and proud to be returning to the campaign trail here."

The news comes two days after the campaign of Fetterman's rival, Republican nominee Mehmet Oz, registered a website that attacks the Democrat as a "basement bum," highlighting the fact that he "hasn't attended a public campaign event since May 12th."

Speaking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last month, Fetterman said he's "feeling really good" since the stroke, while acknowledging some lingering difficulty with processing speech. His campaign has said he is expected to fully recover.

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