State Watch

Pennsylvania lieutenant governor explains numbers tattooed on his arms

YouTube/CBS Sunday Morning

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman opened up Tuesday about his physical appearance, saying he does not “look like a typical politician” while explaining the various tattoos on his arms.

The 6-foot, 8-inch Pennsylvania lieutenant governor explained in a Medium post that the tattooed numbers visible across his arms are tied to his hometown of Braddock, where he served as mayor for 14 years.

He wrote that his tattoos “are literally the first thing people Google about me.”

“Well enough, Googling,” he added. “Today, I’ll tell you about my tattoos myself.”

Fetterman explained that the “15104” tattooed on his left arm represents the zip code of the Pittsburgh borough where he served as mayor from 2005 until he began his role as lieutenant governor in January 2019.

“My wife Gisele and I are raising our kids here in Braddock, right across the street from Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill,” he wrote.

Fetterman has nine different dates tattooed on his right arm, each indicating a day in which people were killed by violence in Braddock while he served as mayor. 

“Seven out of nine were gun deaths. I actually have to get one more date added because in June of 2018, there was another tragic loss of life,” he added, seemingly referring to the fatal drive-by shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old boy.

“Every time Braddock lost someone was the worst feeling in the world,” Fetterman wrote. “In a close-knit community like Braddock — which is home to around 2,000 people — it’s very likely that you know the victim and their family.”

Fetterman has spoken about his tattoos in the past, telling “CBS Sunday Morning” in January that the dates tattooed on his arm represent “the worst days of my life because these are days we lost people through senseless violence.”

“In my 15 years as Mayor, I worked with the community to take on gun violence and other important issues that Braddock faced every day,” he explained in his Medium post Tuesday, adding his “proudest moment” as mayor was when Braddock “went 5 ½ years without the loss of life due to gun violence.”

“I’m running for the U.S. Senate because I believe that every community is worth fighting for. And I promise that I will fight for every community across PA in the Senate as if it were my own,” he said,  including a link for people to make donations to his political campaign.

Fetterman, who last month formally filed papers to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R), has gained increased attention in recent months for publicly clashing with Republican legislators in his home state. 

The lieutenant governor has repeatedly replaced pro-weed and LGBTQ rights flags hanging from his office balcony after lawmakers have continued to remove them in line with a new measure that bans the display of any unapproved flag. 

Fetterman has said that he would continue to display the flags until state lawmakers legalize marijuana for recreational use or make it illegal for employers to discriminate against someone based on sexual identity and gender orientation.

Tags 2022 Senate campaign anti-gun violence anti-LGBTQ discrimination John Fetterman legal marijuana Lieutenant Governor Pat Toomey Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Senate

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