WASHINGTON – Doctor and television host Mehmet Oz claimed the Republican nomination for a US Senate seat on Friday after Pennsylvania Republican primary opponent David McCormick conceded that he cannot win a recount.
“This evening I received a gracious phone call from David McCormick and am tremendously grateful for his pledge of support in the fall election,” Oz said in a victory statement.
McCormick, who trailed Oz by less than 1,000 votes after the May 17 Republican primary in Pennsylvania, told supporters at an event in Pittsburgh that the nearly-completed recount showed that the numbers simply weren’t there to catch up.
“It’s now clear to me – with the recount now largely complete – that we have a nominee” in Oz, McCormick said. “Tonight is really about all us coming together.”
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McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, said he told Oz he would “do my part” to unite Republicans and Pennsylvania residents behind the doctor’s candidacy to the US Senate. “He has my full support,” McCormick said.
Oz, who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trumpn during the primary, said he appreciated McCormick’s concession and that “we share the goal of a brighter future for Pennsylvania and America.”
Pennsylvania officials authorized a recount because state law requires one when two candidates finish within 0.5% of each other.
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Oz, who left his long-running television show to pursue a US Senate seat, now faces Democratic nominee John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania in the fall general election.
“We will make sure that this US Senate seat does not fall into the hands of the radical left, led by John Fetterman,” Oz said.
The Pennsylvania Senate race could decide whether Democrats or Republicans control the US Senate, currently split 50-50 between the parties. The Democrats now have majority power because of the tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.
Fetterman and other Democrats have described Oz as a celebrity carpetbagger who moved to Pennsylvania to try and buy a US Senate seat. They also cited Oz’s opposition to abortion rights and his support for Trump’s false claims about election fraud in 2020.
After McCormick’s concession, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said in a statement that “Mehmet Oz is a fraud and a scam artist who will do, say, and sell anything to help himself – no matter who gets hurt.”
Fetterman, 52, is still recovering from a stroke he suffered the weekend before the primary.
In a statement earlier in the day, Fetterman said the stroke was more serious than the campaign initially announced. His cardiologist said Fetterman has suffered from both atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathy in recent years.
“The stroke I suffered on May 13 didn’t come out of nowhere,” Fetterman said in his statement. “Like so many others, and so many men in particular, I avoided going to the doctor, even though I knew I didn’t feel well. As a result, I almost died.”
He added: “I didn’t do what the doctor told me. But I won’t make that mistake again.”
Oz and Fetterman are vying for the seat being vacated by retiring US Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
During the hard-fought Republican primary, McCormick also sought Trump’s endorsement. His wife, Dina Powell, worked for the Trump administration as a deputy national security adviser, and other former Trump aides supported McCormick’s Senate candidacy.
During the primary campaign, McCormick and other Republicans attacked Oz for his lack of political experience and his dual citizenship with both Turkey and the United States.
Still, Oz managed to prevail.
In his victory statement, the celebrity doctor said that “I look forward to campaigning in every corner of the Commonwealth for the next five months to earn the support of every Pennsylvanian.”