How ‘Just a Dude’ in Shorts Became a Senate Front-Runner

YORK, Pa. — John Fetterman’s latest ad boasts that his campaign has become a movement. Days before Pennsylvania’s primary on Tuesday, Mr. Fetterman is the front-runner for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination. But he insists that he is simply “doing my thing.”

“I’m just a dude that shows up and just talks about what I believe in, you know?” he said in an interview on Thursday in the deeply Republican county of York, standing across the street from The Holy Hound Taproom, a bar in his hometown where he hosted a packed campaign event.

Just a dude.

Doing his thing.

That thing includes believing that “voting is kinda critical to democracy.” And pledging to “get good Democratic stuff done.” And referring to a potential Republican opponent as a “weirdo.”

Mr. Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, does not sound like any other leading politician in recent memory. And standing roughly 6-foot-8, with his uniform of basketball shorts and hoodies bearing occasional schmutz, he plainly does not look like one.

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