After one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the country, Fetterman flipped a Senate seat blue — becoming the first Democrat to win the seat since 1962 as he defeated the Trump-endorsed celebrity doctor in the race.
"It's official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania," Fetterman tweeted upon his victory. "We bet on the people of Pennsylvania — and you didn't let us down. And I won't let you down. Thank you."
The Senate seat was vacated by outgoing Sen. Pat Toomey, creating the first open Senate seat in Pennsylvania in over a decade. Fetterman's win helps the Democratic Party as they look to secure bigger margins on Capitol Hill.
Between his viral campaigning moments and family background, here's everything to know about Fetterman.
He is the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock from 2006 to 2019 before being elected the 34th lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania in 2018. During his tenure, he amassed national attention for his efforts to legalize cannabis statewide in addition to countering President Donald Trump's claims of election fraud in Pennsylvania.
His Pennsylvania Senate win is pretty historic
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bonnie Biess/Getty John Fetterman, Mehmet Oz
Last year, Fetterman announced his candidacy in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania — and after one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the country, he defeated Republican Dr. Oz in the race. Flipping a Senate seat blue, Fetterman became the first Democrat to win this seat since 1962.
Despite Oz's sudden momentum in the weeks leading up to the election (with some polls calling him the frontrunner), Fetterman led early. He often took to social media to call out the former television personality for gaffes, including his widely shared shopping trip for "crudités."
Issues like raising the minimum wage, criminal justice reform, abortion access, voting rights, and protections for LGBTQ+ people are all issues Fetterman has reportedly campaigned on, often in rural counties filled with working-class voters who supported Trump.
He suffered a stroke days before the primary election
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty
Just days before the primary election in May, Fetterman suffered a stroke and later underwent a procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. Ultimately, Fetterman won the primary — from a hospital bed — handily. His doctor later revealed he has atrial fibrillation, which caused the stroke, and cardiomyopathy, which is why he got the implant.
In August, he hopped back on the campaign trail, saying in an emotional speech that he felt "better than I have in years."
His tattoos have special meanings
Justin Merriman/Bloomberg via Getty
In an op-ed published by NBC News in September, Fetterman opened up about the personal meaning behind some of his tattoos.
The Democrat has nine tattoos on his right forearm and wrote that they each represent "a day on which someone died violently while I was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania." He explained that the ink reading "01.16.06." is the date when Christopher Williams was shot dead while delivering pizzas.
He went on to detail the other dates memorialized by his tattoos, writing that they all serve as "reminders of the people we have lost and what I am fighting for." He added: "My decision to mark these deaths with tattoos was inspired in part by their permanence — the fact that these people, their stories and my town will be with me forever."
He earned his master's from Harvard University
Joe Lamberti/AP Photo Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman
Prior to his political endeavors, Fetterman pursued a profession in the insurance industry, having studied finance at Albright College before earning an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
After graduating, he joined AmeriCorps and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School (the school of public policy and government of Harvard University) in 1999. He moved to Braddock in 2004 and was elected mayor the following year.
He's married and is a father to three kids
Gisele Fetterman Gisele and John Fetterman (left and center) with their children
The politician married Gisele Fetterman in 2008 and they share three kids together: Karl, Gracie and August. The two first connected after Gisele wrote him a letter inquiring about Braddock and the efforts to revitalize the community.
Originally from Brazil, the First Lady of Pennsylvania received her green card in 2004, four years before her marriage, and became a U.S. citizen in 2009. She has devoted her life to helping others, with a focus on nutrition, food equity and meeting Pennsylvanians' basic needs.
The parents have tried to preserve their kids' childhoods to an extent, though. "We do talk about the race around the house a bit and the kids will come to rallies when they can, but they also have their own lives," Gisele told PEOPLE. "They go to school every day, they go over to their friends' houses, they have homework to do. Their calendars are very full already."