John Fetterman Speaks in Carlisle


Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, at the Cumberland County Democratic Committee (Photo Courtesy of Walker Kmetz ’25)

John Fetterman, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, spoke at the Cumberland County Democratic Committee in Carlisle on Wednesday. The event was announced on Nov. 2 and held the same day. 

The event was filled with community members and Dickinson students, where the back of the room had barely any space left for additional attendees. When Fetterman walked into the room, the crowd erupted with applause and cheers, and the event closed with chants of “Fetterman.” 

Fetterman was welcomed by Matt Roan, the Chair of Cumberland County’s Democratic Committee, who said “we will look back on this election as a turning point in Cumberland County political history,” as the county has moved in Democrats’ favor. Gov. Tom Wolf won the county in his 2018 re-election bid, and Donald Trump won the county in 2020 with 54 percent of the vote, the lowest share for a Republican presidential candidate since 1992. 

Fetterman opened the event by saying “you are all awesome,” thanked the crowd for their “overwhelming” welcome and for the volunteering work they have done. He then introduced his wife Gisele, who he described as “a literal walking, talking example of a better half.” 

After explaining how close the upcoming election will be, Fetterman outlined what a vote for him to the Senate means. He said he would “be that 51st vote” to eliminate the filibuster and raise the minimum wage, about which he said “all work that has dignity, every paycheck must have dignity as well.” 

He also said he would protect Medicare and Social Security and expand healthcare. He jokingly said “I really found healthcare really useful,” a reference to the stroke he suffered in May, days before he won the Democratic primary. Fetterman said his campaign is “for every person who got knocked down that had to get back up, any community that got knocked down that had to get back up” like he said he did after his stroke. 

Members of Dickinson College Democrats viewed the event positively. Emily Orzechowski ’24, Treasurer of College Democrats, said the event was “motivating,” and Nora White ’23, secretary of College Democrats, said “I think campaigns and elections can be really long cycles, and so like continuing to keep the energy through the entire cycle… it is really nice to actually have a candidate in front of you.” 

They also had a positive reaction to the fact a statewide candidate came to Cumberland County. Harpreet Chohan ’23, President of College Democrats, said “It’s good that someone decided to come over and visit us. Carlisle is like blue and red. I think it’s one of the swingiest swing areas of Pennsylvania.” This sentiment was echoed by Orzechowski, who said “just emphasizing Cumberland County more in this race would be super awesome.” 

Also in attendance were Sara Agerton, Democratic nominee for the Pa. state House’s 88th District; Kristal Markle, Democratic nominee for the state House’s 87th District; and Jim Massey, Democratic nominee for the state Senate’s 34th District.

Fetterman is running for U.S. Senate against Republican nominee Mehmet Oz. Polling aggregates have shown Fetterman narrowly leading Oz, a lead that has shrunk in recent weeks. Election Day is November 8, and Dickinson students who are registered to vote based on their residency in Carlisle can vote at Bosler Library, across from Denny Hall.