Top Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania to miss Biden visit
Top Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania are missing President Biden’s visit to the state on Friday.
Gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro (D), who is currently the state attorney general, and Senate candidate John Fetterman, who is currently the lieutenant governor, will both miss Biden’s event in Pittsburgh where he will discuss infrastructure.
“It’s great that President Biden is coming to Pittsburgh to talk about infrastructure. If infrastructure is Elvis, then Pittsburgh is Graceland. It’s great to come to the city that helped build America to talk about rebuilding America,” Fetterman said in a statement regarding the event.
However, Fetterman said he will be meeting with Democrats in Harrisburg to discuss the 2022 midterms and is unable to attend the event.
Shapiro’s spokesperson said he had a scheduling conflict, although he did not elaborate, but emphasized that Shapiro appeared with Biden in other events in 2021.
“Josh Shapiro is running to be the governor of Pennsylvania and he’s focused on the issues that matter to Pennsylvania families,” a campaign spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.
“Like every American should, Josh wants our president to be successful and we’ll continue welcoming President Biden to his home state of Pennsylvania,” the statement added.
The news comes as other top Democrats have also skipped recent Biden visits to their state in the midterm election year.
Stacey Abrams, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, missed Biden’s voting rights speech in the state in January due to a scheduling conflict.
The missed events by top Democrats come as Biden approval ratings have dropped in recent months, making those in the party wary of how close they should tie themselves to the president for the upcoming election.
Rep. Conor Lamb, a top Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, has said he will be at the event with Biden, according to The Associated Press.
“President Biden first announced his infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh, and Conor looks forward to welcoming him back and talking about all the good jobs that bill will create in the Pittsburgh area and all over Pennsylvania,” Lamb’s campaign said.
The Hill has reached out to the White House and Lamb for comment.