(The Center Square) — Four Democratic candidates the are vying for the nomination into the November general election for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Jenkintown Borough Councilor Alex Khalil will be on the ballot, and polls favor Fetterman. A Monmouth University poll released on April 27 noted that Fetterman was leading at 44%, Lamb at 23%, Kenyatta at 14%, and Khalil at 8%.
“While nearly 9 in 10 Democrats identify a candidate they are at least somewhat likely to support, just under half (46%) can hone in on a single candidate they are ‘very likely’ to support,” the poll report noted.
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The Senate seat is currently held by Republican Pat Toomey, who is retiring, leaving the field open in the Republican and Democratic primaries. For a policy overview of the Democratic candidates, The Center Square took a look at their websites.
Fetterman declares that he’s “a different kind of Democrat.” He wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour; treat health care as a fundamental human right; transition to clean energy as quickly as possible and “create millions of good union jobs” to address climate change as an existential threat; and legalize marijuana nationwide. He also wants “a compassionate response to immigration reform,” supports Black Lives Matter, is pro-choice, and argues “the union way of life is sacred.”
Lamb wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 using natural gas as a bridge fuel to replace coal and be a reliable source of power while expanding wind and solar. He is supportive of criminal justice reform such as decriminalizing marijuana. He also supports increased accountability and transparency of policing practices, and expanding social diversion programs for nonviolent drug offenses. Lamb wants to expand investment in education, protect and strengthen the Affordable Care Act he’s pro-union.
Kenyatta “is running for U.S. Senate because he believes that we need a government that is actually going to work for working people.” He wants more affordable health care for everybody, a democracy free of corruption and influence, a fair justice system, a $15 minimum wage, and a sustainable climate with good union jobs. On the economy, he argues that he’ll help small businesses: “We need to ensure that small businesses continue to thrive by delivering forgivable loans and holding enormous corporations like Amazon accountable so small businesses can compete.”
Khalil’s campaign tagline is “community, compassion, justice, and prosperity for all.” She argues that health care is a human right, wants to end food insecurity and support Pennsylvania agriculture, and create a quality and inclusive education for all children. She supports economic justice and pledges to “fight for Pennsylvanian small businesses, and working class and middle class families.” Khalil wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Anthony Hennen is a reporter for The Center Square. Previously, he worked for Philadelphia Weekly and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He is managing editor of Expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region.
This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.