Republican Party U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick speaks to supporters alongside his wife, Dina Powell McCormick, at an election night event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. May 17, 2022. Picture taken May 17, 2022.
Quinn Glabicki | Reuters
Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick conceded the Republican primary in Pennsylvania for U.S. Senate to celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, ending his campaign Friday night as he acknowledged an ongoing statewide recount would not give him enough votes to make up the deficit.
McCormick said he had called Oz to concede.
“It’s now clear to me with the recount now largely complete that we’ve got a nominee,” McCormick said at a campaign party at a Pittsburgh hotel. “Tonight is actually about all us coming together.”
Before the recount, Oz led McCormick by 972 votes out of 1.34 million votes counted within the May 17 primary. The Associated Press has not declared a winner within the race because an automatic recount is underway and the margin between the 2 candidates is just 0.07 percentage points.
Friday’s development sets up a general election between Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and Democrat John Fetterman in what is anticipated to be one among the nation’s premier Senate contests. The race could help determine control of the closely divided chamber.
Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, acknowledged earlier Friday in a press release 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 health care provider’s advice to take blood thinners.
Oz, who’s best often called the host of daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show,” had to beat tens of millions of dollars in attack ads and misgivings amongst 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 very best likelihood of winning in November within the presidential battleground state.
Rivals made Oz’s dual citizenship in Turkey a difficulty within the race. If elected, Oz can be the nation’s first Muslim senator.
Born in the USA, Oz served in Turkey’s military and voted in its 2018 election. Oz said he would resign his Turkish citizenship if he won the November election, and he accused McCormick of constructing “bigoted” attacks.
Oz and McCormick blanketed state airwaves with political ads for months, spending tens of millions of their very own money. Virtually unknown 4 months ago, McCormick needed to introduce himself to voters, and he mined Oz’s long record as a public figure for material in attack ads. He got help from a brilliant PAC supporting him that spent $20 million.
Like McCormick, Oz moved from out of state to run in Pennsylvania.
Oz, a Harvard graduate, Latest York Times bestselling writer and self-styled wellness advocate, lived for the past couple of a long time in a mansion in Cliffside Park, Latest Jersey, above the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan — drawing accusations of being a carpetbagger and political tourist.
The celebrity heart surgeon stressed his connections to Pennsylvania, saying he grew up just over the state border in Delaware, went to medical school in Philadelphia and married a Pennsylvania native.