The recount of Pennsylvania’s photo-finish Republican Senate primary won’t be revealed until June 8, but Democrats aren’t waiting to attempt to stain each possible winners, Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick.
The Democrats’ Senate campaign arm released prototypes of attack ads against each candidates on Thursday, leaning into the theme that Dr. Oz, the celebrity physician, and Mr. McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, are out-of-state carpetbaggers. The ads preview how the overall election could unfold in some of the critical midterm contests for Senate control.
The 30-second spots portray Dr. Oz, who held a tiny lead going into the recount and has declared himself the “presumptive” nominee, as “pretending to be from Pennsylvania.’’ Mr. McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, is attacked for having “moved from Connecticut to purchase a Senate seat.”
The ad maker, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is just not paying for the spots to run on the airwaves or on digital screens; it offered them to the news media as previews of a paid campaign in the autumn, and within the expectation that they’d be shared on social media. Axios earlier reported on the ads.
The committee has reserved an initial $3 million for ads in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, where the retirement of Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican, has created an open seat.
The attacks — including that Dr. Oz is a Hollywood type who promoted dubious medical claims on television, and that Mr. McCormick is a friend of China’s who outsourced jobs at a Pittsburgh company — are likely already familiar to many Pennsylvania voters, who were barraged with the identical material in the first. Each of the super-wealthy candidates and their allies spent tens of thousands and thousands of dollars in attack ads ahead of the May 17 primary.
Dr. Oz led by fewer than 1,000 votes, or .07 percent, when the recount began on Friday. Armies of lawyers for each candidates proceed to scrap for each vote before county election boards and in court.
With the race in suspense for greater than two weeks, the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, has been largely out of the highlight, which can profit him politically as he recuperates from a stroke suffered just before Election Day. He has made no public appearances since then and has none currently planned. His campaign repeated this week that he’s on the trail to a full recovery, yet questions on his health have swirled as his campaign declined requests from reporters to talk with Mr. Fetterman or his doctors about his condition. On Tuesday, he posted to Twitter a brief speech thanking Democratic House members from Pennsylvania for his or her endorsements.
A spokeswoman for Dr. Oz, Brittany Yanick, didn’t respond on to the Democratic committee’s attack ad, but called the “Biden/Fetterman agenda” flawed for Pennsylvania. “John Fetterman’s radical agenda harms Pennsylvanians and makes our communities less protected,” she said.
Mr. McCormick’s campaign responded similarly, specializing in the “agenda of Biden and John Fetterman” but arguing that Mr. McCormick is the candidate best positioned to defeat Mr. Fetterman this fall.