How John Fetterman's Big Win Could Shift The Conversation On Disabilities

John Fetterman faced off in one of the most talked about Senate races against Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Oz campaign, which was a huge regret for Donald Trump, often tried to take down Fetterman for something he couldn't control — the fact that he had a stroke just a few months into the race (via CNN).

An aide working with the Oz campaign made a comment about Fetterman's stroke that did not sit well with many. Rachel Tripp said, "If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn't have had a major stroke and wouldn't be in the position of having to lie about it constantly," (per The Washington Post).

While Dr. Oz shared that he would not speak to patients about strokes the way his campaign had targeted his competition, the language hit deep. In the end, Fetterman defeated Oz, and disability advocates are hopeful his victory will help change the way the media covers disabilities.

Fetterman ran a monumental campaign

John Fetterman defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania race for Senate on Tuesday. The state's Lieutenant Governor took to Twitter to announce his victory. "It's official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania," Fetterman wrote. "We bet on the people of Pennsylvania — and you didn't let us down. And I won't let you down. Thank you."

The win came just a few months after Fetterman nearly died after having a stroke (via AOL). Throughout the race, both the Oz campaign and members of the media were hard on Fetterman for his auditory processing issues following the stroke. Though his cognitive function was back to normal, he sometimes would trip over words when he was speaking.

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC wrote, "John Fetterman's ability to communicate is seriously impaired. Pennsylvania voters will be talking about this obvious fact even if many in the media will not." While Fetterman is not the only stroke survivor to run for office, he showed how to push through. He unknowingly became a disabilities advocate and proved that he was more than capable of winning the race, regardless of what the media or his opponent said about his condition. Many advocates are hopeful that this will change the way the media reports on disabilities.