Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz greets supporters after the first race resulted in an automatic re-count resulting from close results on May 17, 2022 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images
Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary race between Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick will head to a recount, the state’s elections chief announced Wednesday.
Oz, a celeb physician and first-time candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led former hedge fund CEO McCormick in the ultimate vote tally by lower than half a percentage point, acting Secretary of of State Leigh Chapman’s office said.
That narrow margin triggered a compulsory recount under Pennsylvania law.
The recount is estimated to cost greater than $1 million in taxpayer funds, Chapman’s office said. Pennsylvania counties must begin recounting ballots by no later than June 1, and they have to finish their recounts by June 7 at noon ET.
The announcement got here greater than every week after the first election. The Pennsylvania Department of State attributed the lag to the undeniable fact that the state’s laws don’t permit “pre-canvassing” of ballots prior to Election Day. Which means counties could only start counting mail ballots on the morning of the election, Chapman’s office explained last Tuesday.
Her office noted on the time that about 900,000 mail ballot applications were sent in for the first.
The eventual winner of the Republican primary will compete in the overall election against Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who was projected to win the state’s Democratic Senate primary by a large margin.
The Senate race within the swing state could prove to be probably the most pivotal fight of the midterms. Democrats try to maintain control of the Senate, which is evenly split between 50 Republicans and the 50 senators who caucus with Democrats.
The Pennsylvania seat, which is being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, may offer Democrats’ best likelihood to flip a red seat blue.
The cutthroat competition between Oz and McCormick continued as leads to the Republican primary race trickled in.
McCormick on Monday filed a lawsuit in an effort to be sure that counties don’t reject some mail-in ballots that arrived on time but didn’t have dates handwritten on the envelopes. The Republican Party has sided with Oz in opposing McCormick’s effort.
While votes were still being tallied, Trump wrote on social media that Oz “should declare victory,” claiming it “makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to seek out.'”
Trump tried to do this within the 2020 presidential election race, which he nevertheless lost to President Joe Biden. The previous president falsely claimed that legitimately forged mail-in ballots, which many states counted more slowly than usual resulting from an influx throughout the coronavirus pandemic, were rife with fraud.
That is breaking news. Please check back for updates.