PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Former LB Ben Kline Joins Fetterman Senate Campaign

Anyone who has followed Pennsylvania politics in the last year knows about John Fetterman. The story of the rough-around-the-edges mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania (population: 2,150), Harvard graduate, and current U.S. Senate candidate has caught the attention of political pundits across the country for his unconventional approach to politics. The York Daily Record reported today that five-year Penn State linebacker Ben Kline will join the Fetterman campaign, becoming the second Nittany Lion this offseason to enter the world of politics.

If you haven’t read up on Fetterman, the Philadelphia Magazine and New York Times published two great profiles. With the appearance of a truck driver — he has the dates of Braddock’s five murders tattooed on one arm, and its zip code on the other — the 6-8, 230-pound Fetterman has created a stir in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race with his community approach to politics. The Times described him as “the Paul Bunyan of hipster urban revival.”

Fetterman is waging an uphill battle for name recognition against establishment candidates Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary for the opportunity to take on incumbent senator Pat Toomey in November 2016.

Kline, known recently for his lovable eccentrism as well, was part of Joe Paterno’s final class of fifth year seniors that walked off the field for the final time in Jacksonville earlier this month. The linebacker was involved in more than just football at Penn State — he was the president of Uplifting Athletes — and is currently finishing up his master’s degree.

“I’m excited about it,” Kline told the Daily Record. “It’s interesting that he has taken over a town with enormous problems and has been able to accomplish what he has. He has dealt with issues concretely, not in the abstract. That’s a constant theme in his style of leadership.”

Kline drove to Braddock to hand over his resume in person. Here’s more from the Daily Record:

“It’s really interesting what he’s doing in Braddock,” he said. “It ties into my interests. It’s something I want to be a part of.”

He searched online for contact information for Fetterman and found it hard to come by.

So in December, a day he had no classes and a day off from football practice, he jumped in his car and drove two and half hours to Braddock.

He started at the library – the town had the first Carnegie Library in the country – and was directed to Fetterman’s office. There, he was directed to his campaign office, where he handed his resume to a campaign worker, chatted for a while, and then headed back to State College. He didn’t have a chance to meet Fetterman, but he said, “I really got a feel for him from the people who worked for him.”

Fetterman was intrigued. He wondered what kind of person would drive from State College just to hand in a resume. He called Kline and told him he was surprised that he would drive to Braddock from State College on a whim. Kline told him that he was interesting in being a part of his team, that he admired what Fetterman had been able to accomplish in Braddock and that he liked the mayor’s ideas for revitalizing downtrodden industrial towns.

It’s certainly an interesting job for one of Penn State’s more interesting players in recent years. For more on Fetterman, here’s his TED Talk and here’s his appearance on the Colbert Report in 2010.

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

Comments

More by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters

Athletics

Longtime Lady Lions Coach Rene Portland Dies Of Cancer

Portland brought Penn State women’s basketball to national prominence during her 27-year coaching tenure.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Send this to a friend