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Democratic candidates descend on Pittsburgh to win support of labor

Democratic candidates descend on Pittsburgh to win support of labor
Democratic candidates descend on Pittsburgh to win support of labor 02:30

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Labor Day is the traditional end of summer but also the time when political campaigns kick into high gear.

Democratic candidates descended on Pittsburgh's Labor Day parade on Monday to win the support of labor. 

Ensconced in a throng of chanting steelworkers, Lt. Governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman marched down the Boulevard of the Allies, where he was joined by the Democratic candidate for governor, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro march in the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade on Sept. 5, 2022. KDKA

Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke, did not speak to reporters on Monday. His campaign aide said he is still having auditory problems and would not be able to hear and process the questions through the noise of the crowd.

But Shapiro used the parade and his support of labor to distance himself from his opponent, Republican Doug Mastriano.

"A guy who literally wants to take away the union way of life by doing away with unions in Pennsylvania. He wants to support a right-to-work bill, I'll veto that bill," Shapiro said.

Though unions have lost membership and clout over the past two decades, the return of the parade after a three-year hiatus shows unions still have some muscle politically and at the bargaining table.

"It's pouring down rain, three-year delay, one of the biggest crowds we've ever had, this is the tenacity of this labor movement not just here in western Pa. but nationally," said Darin Kelly, president of the Allegheny County Labor Council.

Democratic politicians hope to win back some of those working-class voters who have drifted away with Donald Trump. On Monday, Shapiro would not comment on Trump, who attacked Fetterman and him in a speech this weekend.

"He is someone who, quite frankly, I think is someone who has lost his way," Shapiro said. "We need to focus on what's happening here in Pennsylvania and focus on making sure we make the case against Doug Mastriano, who is dangerous and extreme."

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