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Pennsylvania Senate Race: McCormick Concedes To Celebrity Heart Surgeon Dr Oz In Republican Primary

Associated Press

Last Updated: June 04, 2022, 06:59 IST

Dr Mehmet Oz, endorsed by US ex-president Donald Trump, if he wins would be US’ first Muslim senator (Image: Reuters)

Dr Mehmet Oz, endorsed by US ex-president Donald Trump, if he wins would be US’ first Muslim senator (Image: Reuters)

Trump-endorsed Turkish-born Mehmet Oz, who served in the Turkish army, could go on to fight a tight contest with Democrat John Fetterman for Pennsylvania senate.

Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick conceded the Republican primary in Pennsylvania for US Senate to celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, ending his campaign Friday night as he acknowledged an ongoing statewide recount wouldn’t give him enough votes to make up the deficit.

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.”

McCormick’s concession cements a general election campaign between Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, 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 retiring two-term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

More than two weeks out from the primary election, Republicans had begun to consider a bitter primary becoming further drawn-out by a recount and lawsuits over mail-in ballots.

“I think it’ll be fine, I think there will be zero problems,” said Pat Poprik, the GOP chair in heavily populated Bucks County, where state party committee members had endorsed McCormick.

“Many people I know liked both candidates, thought both were good and had to make a last-minute decision between them.”

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

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

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the race because an automatic recount is underway and the margin between the two candidates is just 0.07 percentage points.

Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, acknowledged earlier Friday in a statement that he nearly died when he suffered a stroke just days before his primary.

He said he had ignored warning signs for years and a doctor’s advice to take blood thinners.

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.”

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
first published:June 04, 2022, 06:57 IST
last updated:June 04, 2022, 06:59 IST
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