State Representative Summer Lee, vice president of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucasus, grew up in North Braddock and says he regularly walks past Fetherman on a local trail. But “he never talked to me about politics, about politics, about me,” she says.
Lee has not yet approved anyone in the main and Fetterman has not asked for her support, she says, although other contenders have. As for the Black Council, she says, “I don’t know if it has anything to do with the Black Council.”
Fatman gets along with at least one top Democrat in Harrisburg – the one who came into the office as an outsider: the governor. Wolf and Fetterman̵
Complaints about Fireman are not limited to a certain flank in the Democratic Party: Lee was approved by the local Democratic Socialists of America, while Williams is a centrist who regularly works with Republicans. And they do not come only from elected officials or from the party establishment. Organizers at Reclaim Philadelphia, mayor of the Progressive Group Our revolution, which played a key role in the election of several left-wing state legislators, said that Feterman did not contact them during this cycle.
It seems that this has already caused Fetterman problems in the primary. The Working Families Party, a leading national progressive group, backed Kenya on the day it announced a major blow to Feterman, who is also running as a left-wing Democrat. but is better known and more experienced than Kenya. Kenya had an inside clue: He spent years getting to know the members of the organization, and the regional political director, Vanessa Clifford, was in the process of leaving to run Kenya’s campaign. Fetterman did not have deep connections with affiliates in the same way, says a senior aide at the head of the group in Pennsylvania.
But some Fetterman supporters do not believe the Working Families Party has done a fair shake-up to him or other potential candidates: While formally considering approval, the group sent likely candidates questionnaire from the last election cycle, which was littered with inappropriate comments about Trump, according to a copy received from POLITICO. Some members of the state organizations that are members of the group grumbled that their vote was provoked at the last minute, as if it had already been decided.
In response, an employee of the Working Families party said that giving approval earlier to consolidate the progressives “was more important than taking the time to review the questionnaire in depth”, and that the group took hours to to interview candidates who have returned the form. (Fetterman did not return it.) A Fetterman spokesman replied: “The questionnaire sent to us was from the 2020 election. He asked about President Donald Trump, not President Biden, and legislation sponsored by members who are no longer in Congress. This does not reflect the current reality, the fact that Democrats are no longer in the Senate minority, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed American life. “
Meanwhile, climate change activists and other progressive discussions have had discussions about recruiting a more left-wing candidate in the race, said a person familiar with their talks. They do not approve of the fact that Feterman has opposed the ban on fracking and has a conflicting opinion about the Green New Deal.
Fetherman may never be an ally of environmental groups, given his position on fracking, but in theory he should be a natural ally of labor-related organizations, such as the Working Families Party – and yet it seems can’t win with them. For Williams, the lack of a Fetterman bed is a governing challenge. “If you’re talking about lifting people out of poverty, recreational marijuana, these are things that require people to know people in order to understand how to do it,” he said. “What is your base?” What is your clique in this body you go to to move ideas and other things? I can’t say I’ve seen it in him. “
In at least one case, Feterman’s relationship with party brass seems to have improved: Feterman’s adviser and representatives of the Democratic Committee of the Senatorial Campaign spoke in February, and the call was “civilian,” according to a source. in 2016
And some progressives believe the left is wrong not to be behind Fetterman. Sean McLaughley, co-founder of the liberal think tank Data for Progress, says the Pennsylvania race “is the best chance for progressives to win a Senate seat” in 2022: “You have a situation that has not been seen in the past. , in which a progressive enters with some sort of ID and a military chest to challenge the primary and there is also a strong argument for being the strongest candidate in a general election – I think it is indisputable that Feterman will be the strongest candidate in a general election – and this is not usually the case. “
Fetterman, for his part, rejects the idea that he has no quality relationship with liberal organizations.
“I have a lot of relationships with progressive groups. And I ran like a progressive before it was cool to do it, ”he says.
Pressed for specific words, he says: “The project of innocence. The entire second criminal justice community here in Pennsylvania. “Apart from Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s leftist district attorney, Feterman says, ‘No other living Pennsylvania has released more blacks from prison than I have. So in terms of actual progressive results,’ it would be difficult to find someone in Pennsylvania, which has produced more progressive results. ”