We cool down today but only slightly, with temperatures expected to reach the 60s under clouds.

In his race to be on the Democratic ticket for U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman hasn’t lobbied for support from political insiders. Today, we look at how this unconventional way has Fetterman leading the polls.

Also, SEPTA is soliciting proposals from engineering firms to do the design work for its King of Prussia light rail service, bringing another link between Philly and the suburbs one step closer to reality.

Let’s get into Thursday. 👇🏾

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

John Fetterman’s unique ‘way of doing business’

In a race for Senate, Democratic hopeful John Fetterman isn’t looking for the support of political insiders. Instead of lobbying constituents in Harrisburg for their endorsement, Fetterman shrugs off endorsements as antiquated.

It’s a tactic that polls suggest has worked for Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor even if it rubs a lot of pols that share space with him in Harrisburg the wrong way. His lack of establishment allies — despite being the state’s No. 2 elected official — neatly fits into his pitch as an outsider, one who can attract both progressives and disaffected rural Democrats who feel let down or left behind by the party.

Polls throughout the campaign have shown Fetterman enjoying healthy and sometimes huge advantages: One poll released this week had him leading U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, his closest rival, by almost 40 points.

“He’s definitely not a politician,” State Sen. John Kane said of Fetterman. “I respect that about him. And I guess it’s his way of doing business.”

Our reporters Julia Terruso and Sean Collins Walsh spoke to several other insiders for a look at Fetterman’s tactics — and asked whether he’ll receive their support if he wins the Democratic nomination.

What you should know today

KOP’s inching closer to welcoming SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed Line

For those looking to venture out to the King of Prussia Mall without having to sit for hours by bus or car on I-76, it appears SEPTA is pushing ever closer to making that a reality. This week, the transit authority started the process of hiring an engineering firm to create an extension of its Norristown High Speed Line.

Some numbers from the discussion:

🚇 $1.6 billion: Estimated construction costs, though officials expect this number to be much higher due to inflation.

🚇 4: The number of miles added to the Norristown High Speed Line, with an end stop near Valley Forge Casino Resort.

🚇 $390 million: The amount SEPTA has pledged to the project in its 12-year capital spending plan.

🚇 2024: When work could start, according to SEPTA officials.

Our reporter Thomas Fitzgerald has more on SEPTA’s elevated plan to link its two largest hubs. 🔒

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

For the second time in three months, the music pavilion along Camden’s waterfront is getting a new name. Today’s question: Which of the following hasn’t been the name of the new Freedom Mortgage Pavilion? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. BB&T Pavilion

b. Campbell’s Music Hall

c. Tweeter Center

d. Sony Music Entertainment Center

What we’re …

🥊 Watching: (And reading) the story of rising Germantown boxer Jaron Ennis, who’s inching ever closer to becoming Philly’s latest world title contender.

😮 Wondering: What is Sting doing to look as young in his two nights here at the Met Philadelphia as he did 40 years ago, then as a member of the band The Police?

🏠 Reminding: If you own a home in Philly, you should take a look at your new property assessment after figures came out this week.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

He will always love you.


Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com. We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Jeff Hurok of Wynnewood, who correctly guessed FITLER SQUARE as Wednesday’s answer.

Photo of the day

Thanks for getting your morning started with The Inquirer.✌️