Mehmet Oz accepts a call from Donald Trump during the election campaign.
Photo: Rachel Wisniewski/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Dr. Mehmet Oz — the Turkish-American heart surgeon turned daytime TV celebrity turned Trump-backed U.S. Senate candidate — has now officially won the Pennsylvania GOP primary. Oz had maintained a narrow lead over former hedge fund CEO David McCormick since the state’s primary more than two weeks ago, but the tight result sparked a statewide recount as well as protests. threats of lawsuits regarding mail-in ballots. Then McCormick conceded on Friday night, acknowledging that the nearly completed recount would not net him enough votes to overtake Oz – and he pledged to support the famed doctor despite their bitter fight.
Oz will now face Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman in one of the most important midterm races of 2022. Fetterman, the state’s popular and idiosyncratic lieutenant governor, easily won the Democratic primary days after surviving to a dangerous stroke. “I almost died,” Fetterman said Friday in a statement accompanying a doctor’s long-awaited letter regarding his health and ability to campaign. Fetterman’s doctor said that if he takes his medication and maintains a healthy lifestyle, Fetterman should stay away and can safely return to the campaign trail.
Trump had pressured Oz into declaring victory prematurely (as he presumably would have done in his loafers); Oz ended up calling himself the “presumed Republican” candidate instead. Dr. Oz lived in New Jersey before becoming a would-be Pennsylvania politician, which was the main focus of the Fetterman campaign’s first fundraising pitch after Oz’s victory on Friday.