Harrisburg, Pa. — Dr. Mehmet Oz, the famed heart surgeon backed by former President Donald Trump, won the U.S. Senate Republican primary in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, narrowly beating former hedge fund CEO David McCormick after a recount of a statewide day rocked by litigation that reached the highest court in the land.
The recount determined that Oz had won the victory over McCormick by 951 out of more than 1.3 million votes in the May 17 primary election. It came days after McCormick conceded the run, acknowledging he wasn’t getting the boost he needed to close the gap.
In November’s general election, Oz will face Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who is out of the campaign trail as he recovering from a stroke and severe heart disease. The race could help determine control of the tightly divided Senate, and Democrats see it as perhaps their best opportunity to land a seat in the race to replace retired Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
“With the statewide recount officially complete, it’s time to focus on how big the stakes are in November,” Oz said in a statement.
National parties and Fetterman have begun testing general election campaign strategies and airing TV ads in Pennsylvania, a presidential battleground state still troubled by Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election has left him. been stolen.
Trump endorsed Oz about five weeks before the primary, saying his decision was “all about winning the election.” The former president also had a long personal history with Oz, who is best known as the host of “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Trump said his wife, Melania, is a big fan of the show. Yet Oz barely won despite Trump’s nudge. In the final days of the campaign, Trump staged a rally for Oz and viciously attacked Oz’s closest rivals, including McCormick and conservative activist Kathy Barnette, who finished third.
Oz, who has dual citizenship in Turkey, would be the country’s first Muslim senator if elected. He remained relatively quiet and off the campaign trail during the recount.
Fetterman, meanwhile, is recovering from a stroke he suffered days before his own primary, which he easily won. He said last week he was “nearly dead” from a stroke, acknowledging he had ignored warning signs for years and a doctor’s advice to take blood thinners.
His cardiologist also revealed that Fetterman was being treated for a life-threatening heart condition. He remained out of public view and gave no date to resume campaigning.
While Fetterman recovers, his campaign has launched two TV ads in which Fetterman portrays himself as a regular guy who will “take on Washington” — perhaps a nod to political headwinds for President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats. while Americans report being skeptical of economic outlook and Biden’s record.
In an ad, Fetterman rails against outsourced jobs, closed factories, rising costs and low wages, saying “these decisions were made for us by people who don’t know us.”
National Republicans, meanwhile, are trying to tie Fetterman to the more liberal members of his party and the Biden administration. In a statement late Wednesday, Oz said Pennsylvanians “want someone who will oppose the liberal Biden-Fetterman agenda leading to rising gas prices, record inflation and unprecedented levels of crime. violent”.