The Lead

Trump endorses television physician Mehmet Oz in Pa. Senate race

By: - April 9, 2022 8:34 pm

Dr. Mehmet Oz, known best for hosting the “Dr. Oz Show” (Photo provided)

President Donald Trump has endorsed television physician Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s closely contested Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate.

“The Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to Save America by electing the brilliant and well-known Dr. Mehmet Oz for the United States Senate,” Trump wrote in a statement that was sent out while he spoke at a North Carolina rally.

“I believe that Mehmet Oz will be the one most able to win the General Election against a radical left Democrat looking to do unthinkable harm to our country,” Trump said.

“They know him, believe in him, and trust him,” the former president said of women and support for Oz. “Likewise, he will do very well in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where other candidates will just not be accepted.”

Trump’s endorsement comes just days after an Emerson College poll showed Oz narrowly trailing former hedge fund executive David McCormick, the Capital-Star previously reported.

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McCormick took 18 percent support in the canvass, with Oz taking 17 percent support, according to the poll of 1,000 “very likely” Republican primary voters. Nearly a third of respondents, 33 percent, however, remain undecided, according to the poll.

Things got better for McCormick, however, when the undecideds were asked which way they were leaning — his lead increased to 27.2 percent — while Oz trailed at 20.6 percent, according to the Emerson poll.

On the Democratic side of the ledger, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District, and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia, are in the top tier of candidates vying for the party’s nomination.

The seat opened up with the retirement of incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who will leave office at year’s end.

In a statement, Jack Doyle, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Democrats, said that “Trump’s endorsement in the Pennsylvania GOP primary, which is already one of the nastiest and most expensive in the country, is only going to escalate this chaotic Republican-on-Republican brawl.” 

Pennsylvania’s primary is May 17.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.