The highest two candidates in Pennsylvania’s neck-and-neck Republican Senate primary race said they do not expect a winner to be declared on election night.
“So, we’re not going to have a result tonight,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity physician endorsed within the race by former President Donald Trump.
“Get some rest,” Oz told supporters at his election watch party. “When all of the votes are tallied, I’m confident we’ll win.”
Dave McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO and the opposite top contender within the race, explained to his own supporters that 1000’s of mail-in ballots still needed to be counted.
“Unfortunately, we’re not going to have resolution tonight. But we will see the trail ahead. We are able to see victory ahead, and it’s all due to you,” McCormick said.
The 2 candidates were separated by a number of hundred votes just after midnight.
The Pennsylvania Department of State confirmed the delay in results, attributing the lag to the indisputable fact that the state’s laws don’t permit “pre-canvassing” of ballots prior to Election Day. Meaning counties could only start counting those mail ballots on Tuesday morning, Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said in a press release.
She noted that about 900,000 mail ballot applications were sent in for the first, and said she expects the majority of those ballots to be counted “inside a number of days.”
The image on the Democratic side of the first was much clearer: NBC News projected that Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will win the state’s Democratic Senate primary race.
Fetterman, who recently suffered a stroke that took him off the campaign trail, was the heavy favorite within the Democratic contest. He and the eventual Republican nominee will face off in a general election that would play a decisive role by which party controls the U.S. Senate after the midterms.
Battle lines for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial contest in November were also drawn Tuesday night, with NBC projecting that Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano will compete against Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Mastriano, who has trumpeted false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, was endorsed by Trump just three days before the first. Shapiro ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination to switch current Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who’s term-limited from running again.
Oz, the previous host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” made waves when he announced he would run as a Republican for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. He received Trump’s coveted endorsement, and his campaign has reportedly spent greater than $12 million within the race on promoting alone.
Mehmet Oz, celebrity physician and US Republican Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, speaks during a town hall in Bell Blue, Pennsylvania, US, on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Rachel Wisniewski | Bloomberg | Getty Images
But Oz, a first-time campaigner who has lived in Recent Jersey for 20 years, was neck-and-neck within the polls with two other Republicans: McCormick, and right-wing commentator Kathy Barnette, who surged in popularity in the ultimate days of the first.
Toomey’s Senate seat could prove to be probably the most competitive in the overall election, as Democrats try to take care of control of a chamber split 50-50 by party.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, takes a selfie with attendees at a meet-and-greet on the Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2022.
Hannah Beier | Reuters
Fetterman was projected to defeat his leading rivals, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.
President Joe Biden in a congratulatory statement Tuesday night said Democrats are “united around John.”
He “understands that working class families in Pennsylvania and across the country have been dealt out for a lot too long,” Biden’s statement said. “It is time to deal them back in, and electing John to america Senate can be an enormous step forward for Pennsylvania’s working people.”
The president also took a swipe on the Republican primary field.
“They’ve fought a malicious, chaotic primary campaign to be essentially the most extreme,” Biden said. “And so they have shown people their authentic selves – that whoever emerges shall be too dangerous, too craven, and too extreme to represent Pennsylvania in america Senate.”
Fetterman’s Senate bid took a turn over the weekend, when his campaign announced that the candidate suffered a stroke and was within the hospital. Fetterman said in an announcement that he expects to completely get better, though the illness kept him off the trail in the ultimate days of the first.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the Democrat’s campaign said that Fetterman had accomplished a successful surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. He’s resting on the hospital after the procedure, which lasted greater than two-and-a-half hours, in response to his campaign.