HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and candidate for United States Senate John Fetterman remains at Lancaster General Hospital after suffering a stroke last week Friday.
Fetterman’s Senate campaign says he is on his way to a full recovery, but state officials say there are questions surrounding the hospitalization and when certain people were told.
Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman says his team was made aware between around noon and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
“I mean it wasn’t an official notification, it was just a staff-to-staff sorta hey were hearing this kind of thing. I don’t know if there is a normal here,” Corman said.
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Under Article IV, Section 13 in Pennsylvania’s state constitution, “In the case of the disability of the Governor, the powers, duties, and emoluments of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor until the disability is removed.”
This has happened in Pennsylvania politics before when former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett underwent back surgery. He was unconscious for 26 minutes, which meant Jim Cawley, his Lieutenant Governor, was governor for 26 minutes.
The same would happen in the case of the disability of the Lt. Governor, as well. In that case, the Senate Pro Tempore, Corman, would assume the duties of Lt. Governor.
Corman says, while Fetterman’s health comes first, he adds that the situation should have been handled differently.
“To the best of my knowledge I don’t think the governor’s office knew either because when we reached out to the governor’s office the senior staff level didn’t seem to know either,” Corman said.
The governor’s office, however, claims they were informed on Friday.
While there is a procedure for the case of a state official becoming unconscious, it is less clear whether there is one outlining what a state official should do for a health issue where they remain conscious. P
Pennsylvania State Police, who provide protection for the Lt. Governor and his family, said they “cannot provide specific details relating to locations or timelines of the detail’s activities or specific actions taken.”
Political analyst Danielle Gross says the incident probably won’t impact how people vote at the polls on Tuesday.
“John Fetterman’s stroke might have a small impact on him getting votes but I don’t really expect it to have enough of an impact to make a difference,” Gross said.
Pennsylvania State Police tells abc27 that “Troopers are assigned to protect the Governor, Lt. Governor and their families. Due to safety and security reasons, we cannot provide specific details relating to locations or timelines of the detail’s activities or specific actions taken.”
Fetterman is not taking any interviews as of Monday per doctor’s orders, but his wife will represent him on Tuesday, May 17, during the primary general election for Pennsylvania’s open seat in the U.S. Senate.