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Oz wins PA Senate primary ahead of showdown with Fetterman

Dr. Mehmet Oz has won Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate primary after a dayslong recount. The celebrity surgeon will face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
Credit: FOX43

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Editor's note: The above video is from May 31.

Dr. Mehmet Oz has won the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania for the open U.S. senate seat that will be left open by Senator Pat Toomey, who is not running for reelection. 

Last week, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick conceded the Republican primary, as he acknowledged an ongoing statewide recount wouldn't give him enough votes to make up the deficit. 

That recount was completed on Wednesday, and Oz has now been declared the Republican nominee.

The recount determined that Oz had eked out victory over McCormick by 951 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast. That margin dropped by 21 votes from the Associated Press tally of the initial result in the May 17 primary election.

Before the recount, Oz led McCormick by 972 votes out of 1.34 million votes counted in the May 17 primary.

After a bitter campaign that blanketed the airwaves with millions of dollars in attack ads, McCormick issued a gracious concession, vowing to help unite the party behind Oz.

“It’s now clear to me with the recount largely complete that we have a nominee,” McCormick said at a campaign party at a Pittsburgh hotel. “And today I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory.”

In a statement, Oz said he was grateful for McCormick's pledge of support.

This will now set up a general election campaign between Oz and Democrat John Fetterman in what is expected to be one of the nation’s premier Senate contests. 

Already, the national parties are sponsoring attack ads on TV in a presidential battleground state that is still roiled by Trump's baseless claims of a stolen election in 2020.

The result could help determine control of the closely divided chamber, and Democrats view it as perhaps their best opportunity to pick up a seat in the race to replace the retiring Toomey.

Oz, who is best known as the host of daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show,” had to overcome a barrage of attack ads and misgivings among hard-line Trump backers about his conservative credentials on guns, abortion, transgender rights and other core Republican issues.

The 61-year-old Oz leaned on Trump's endorsement as proof of his conservative bona fides, while Trump attacked Oz's rivals and maintained that Oz has the best chance of winning in November in the presidential battleground state.

Oz had had little history with the Republican Party — but he had a friendship with Trump going back almost 20 years and, as Trump told him in a 2016 appearance on Oz's show, “you know my wife’s a big fan of your show.”

Meanwhile, McCormick made Oz’s dual citizenship in Turkey an issue in the race, suggesting that Oz would be a national security risk. If elected, Oz would be the nation’s first Muslim senator.

Born in the United States, Oz served in Turkey’s military and voted in its 2018 election. Oz said he would renounce his Turkish citizenship if he won the November election, and he accused McCormick of making “bigoted” attacks.

Oz and McCormick blanketed the state's airwaves with political ads for months, spending millions of their own money. Virtually unknown to voters four months ago, McCormick had to introduce himself to voters, and he mined Oz’s long record as a public figure for material in attack ads. He got help from a super PAC supporting him that spent $20 million.

Like McCormick, Oz moved from out of state to run in Pennsylvania.

Oz, a Harvard graduate, New York Times bestselling author and self-styled wellness advocate, lived for the past couple of decades in a mansion in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, above the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan — drawing accusations of being a carpetbagger and political tourist.

The celebrity heart surgeon stressed his connections to Pennsylvania, saying he grew up just over the state border in Delaware, went to medical school in Philadelphia and married a Pennsylvania native.

The General Election is set for Nov. 8.

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