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Here’s What Happens If Fetterman’s Health Forces Him to Resign

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) was hospitalized earlier this week after feeling “lightheaded,” reviving concerns about the Pennsylvania Democrat’s health just one month into his Senate term.

Fetterman was hospitalized in Washington, D.C., after feeling faint on Wednesday, according to his office. It’s not yet clear what prompted the hospitalization, but doctors have said it wasn’t caused by a stroke and that he’s currently being monitored for a seizure.

The incident comes after Fetterman suffered a stroke on the campaign trail in May 2022, prompting concerns that the Pennsylvania Democrat would not be fit to complete a six-year term in the Senate. Fetterman has maintained he is healthy enough to hold office and has not indicated any plans to resign.

If Fetterman’s health complications did prompt the senator to step down from office, a special process would be triggered in the Keystone State as Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro would be tasked to appoint a replacement. Because Shapiro would be likely to choose a Democrat, the party doesn’t have to worry about a shift in the balance of power in the upper chamber.

Should Fetterman choose to resign, Shapiro would be responsible for choosing a replacement who would serve in the Senate seat until the next scheduled statewide election. Then, voters would hold a special election to choose who would carry out the remainder of Fetterman’s term.

There is no universal rule on how Senate seats are filled in the case of a resignation. Pennsylvania is one of 37 states that allow the governor to appoint a replacement, while the remaining 13 states require a special election to fill the vacancy. Of those 13, eight allow the governor to appoint a replacement in the interim. The other four require the seat to remain vacated until an election is held.

Fetterman has not publicly responded to his most recent hospitalization, and the Pennsylvania Democrat has not indicated any plans to step down.

  • David Ybarra says:

    Are there any democrats left that don’t have mental issues?

  • It’s called corrupt democrats, RINOS and their tools for it voter fraud and YOU darn Americans allow if, how pathetic it Americans looks worldwide. Stupid is, is stupid does Americans!

  • JJ says:

    I think it was a mistake for him to continue his campaign after his stroke!! He should have dropped out because a stroke can leave a person with so many different afflictions some that would make it difficult for him to continue his duties! I’m surprised that the state of Pennsylvania didn’t try to persuade him to drop out at that time! But I’m also surprised at the voters of Pennsylvania who elected someone with this physical issue!!

  • PAcitizen says:

    Lazy gutless Pennsylvania GOP need to get off their ass and sponsor a bill to hold an election for a replacement. But it will never happen. PA is super corrupt and Fetterman was selected not elected. Not all of us in PA voted for him. Unfortunately only the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia vote counts. The gop here are worthless.

  • Fernando Linares says:

    He is clearly now qualified for the Democratic presidential race.



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