Penn­syl­va­nia gov­er­nor gets to know im­pos­ing new ticket mate

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - NEWS - By Mark Scol­foro and Marc Levy

MANCH­ESTER, PA. » Penn­syl­va­nia’s gov­er­nor spent some time Wed­nes­day get­ting to know his new run­ning mate, a day af­ter Democrats voted to re­place the in­cum­bent lieu­tenant gov­er­nor on the fall ticket with a mayor who sports arm tat­toos with the dates of mur­ders in his eco­nom­i­cally strug­gling steel town.

Gov. Tom Wolf had lunch at a cafe near his home with Brad­dock Mayor John Fet­ter­man, who beat four oth­ers for the nom­i­na­tion. The in­cum­bent, Demo­cratic Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, fin­ished fourth.

At the Manch­ester Cafe, Wolf or­dered tuna salad, and Fet­ter­man a Reuben and fries, while they chat­ted about Fet­ter­man’s fam­ily.

Wolf and Fet­ter­man are both from the York area, where Wolf ran the fam­ily build­ing prod­ucts com­pany be­fore win­ning the gov­er­nor­ship four years ago. Fet­ter­man, whose fa­ther has an in­sur­ance com­pany in York, grad­u­ated from Cen­tral York High in 1987.

The Repub­li­can gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­nee cho­sen Tues­day also is a Yorker — state Sen. Scott Wag­ner, whose trash haul­ing busi­ness is lo­cated less than a mile from the restau­rant where Wolf and Fet­ter­man had lunch.

Wag­ner spokesman An­drew Romeo said Wolf will “find much to like with the ul­tra­l­ib­eral Fet­ter­man — from his sup­port of the bud­get-bust­ing sin­gle-payer health care sys­tem and higher taxes for ev­ery­one.”

Wolf and Fet­ter­man are not strangers — the 6-foot8, bald and goa­teed Fet­ter­man said he once hosted Wolf for din­ner at his home — but they were also clearly get­ting to know one an­other bet­ter.

“Sounds corny, I’ve only ever wanted to help peo­ple,” Fet­ter­man told Wolf, and shared with him de­tails about the lives of his sib­lings.

Fet­ter­man em­pha­sized he viewed his role as sub­or­di­nate to Wolf, loom­ing over the 6-foot tall gov­er­nor as he vowed to do what­ever he can to help him win a sec­ond term.

“Gov. Wolf’s record stands on its own, and it’s a great record to run on,” Fet­ter­man told re­porters.

Governors and lieu­tenant governors run for the nom­i­na­tion sep­a­rately in Penn­syl­va­nia, and Wolf has not had a close re­la­tion­ship with Stack.

Asked to de­scribe their pro­fes­sional work­ing re­la­tion­ship, Wolf hes­i­tated and then said it was a good time to thank Stack for his ser­vice.

Wolf launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion last year into the treat­ment of state em­ploy­ees by Stack and his wife and stripped Stack of state po­lice pro­tec­tion.

Fet­ter­man, 48, has long been ac­tive in Demo­cratic pol­i­tics and is known for his ef­forts to rein­vig­o­rate his down-on-its-luck steel town, where he first ar­rived in 2001 as an Amer­iCorps vol­un­teer.

Those ef­forts — from start­ing youth pro­grams to at­tract­ing artists, farm projects and edgy new busi­nesses to va­cant build­ings and lots — have made him a mi­nor celebrity in the area and landed him na­tional at­ten­tion.

Fet­ter­man ran un­suc­cess­fully for the U.S. Se­nate in 2016, but did bet­ter in his Demo­cratic pri­mary loss than prog­nos­ti­ca­tors had ex­pected.

The Har­vard Univer­si­tye­d­u­cated, plain­spo­ken Fet­ter­man won his first race for mayor in 2005 by one vote in Brad­dock, a tiny bor­ough 10 miles east of Pitts­burgh, and has been mayor now since 2006.

More re­cently, he has raised money for college schol­ar­ships for Brad­dock pub­lic school stu­dents and a culi­nary train­ing pro­gram for res­i­dents who work at a new eatery started in town by an award-win­ning Pitts­burgh chef.

MATT ROURKE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

FILE – In this file photo, John Fet­ter­man, mayor of Brad­dock, Pa., talks to a re­porter on the third day of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia. \

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