Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Democrat John Fetterman announced Monday that he would run for Senate, in what is predicted to be a highly contested race to replace Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who said he will retire in 2022.
In a video released Monday for supporters, the 6-foot-8 tall, tattooed Democrat said he wanted to represent the rural Pennsylvania voters that voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020.
"These places across Pennsylvania feel left behind. They don't feel part of the conversation," Fetterman said. "That's why Donald Trump went to these small counties and held these big rallies. We cannot afford to take any vote for granted. We cannot afford to take any place for granted."
In the uproar in Pennsylvania leading up to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol siege, Fetterman was ousted from the Pennsylvania Senate chambers on Jan. 5, after Republican state lawmakers refused to seat a Democrat Senate winner, Jim Brewer, claiming his election was still being legally contested.
Fetterman ran a failed bid for U.S. Senate in 2016, losing out in the Democratic primary to Katie McGinty, who then lost to Toomey.
Fetterman has served as lieutenant governor since 2019. After graduating from Harvard, Fetterman was elected in 2005 as the mayor of Western Pennsylvania's city of Braddock.