Rendell backs Fetterman campaign for Pa. lieutenant governor

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and John Fetterman speak at Philadelphia City Hall Monday.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and John Fetterman speak at Philadelphia City Hall Monday. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A notable Philadelphia politician is throwing his support behind one of the many challengers to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell said Monday he believes John Fetterman is the best choice for the job because of his experience as mayor of Braddock in Western Pennsylvania.

“He revitalized the downtown, reduced the crime rate … Braddock hasn’t had a homicide in five and a half years — an extraordinary record,” Rendell said during his announcement at Philadelphia City Hall. “Most of all, he brought hope back to a fine heritage Pennsylvania city in Braddock.”

Fetterman said his campaign is based on progressive issues similar to those he championed in his recent unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate.

“Income inequality, places that are left behind, community policing, marijuana legalization, economic development,” he said, naming a few.

Current Lt. Gov. Mike Stack would be a drag on the Democratic ticket in next year’s gubernatorial election, Rendell said. Pennsylvania voters registered with a party will select candidates on May 15 to run with the nominees for governor. For the Democrats, that will be Gov. Tom Wolf.

Stack has been dogged by stories of his family mistreating staff at the lieutenant governor’s residence, as well as spending heavily on travel and perks.

Other declared candidates for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary include state Rep. Madeleine Dean of Montgomery County; school nutrition activist Aryanna Berringer; Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone; and Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman.

Fetterman said he was pleased with Rendell’s endorsement — and the campaign contribution from the former governor’s political action committee.

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