Politics Dr. Oz will run for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat as a Republican
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- Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz will run for Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania, he announced Tuesday.
- The television personality, who has faced criticism over the years for promoting unproven or alternative medicine, criticized the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic in announcing his candidacy.
- Oz has lived in New Jersey for two decades, according to the Associated Press.
Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz will run for Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania next year, adding intrigue to one of the races that will determine control of the chamber.
The 61-year-old host of "The Dr. Oz Show" will enter a crowded swing-state race where no clear frontrunner has emerged on the GOP side. Oz, who has never held elected office, will try to leverage his name recognition and wealth in the bid to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Trump was upset at connection to Sean Parnell's faltering Senate campaign, blamed Don Jr. for fallout after endorsement: report
Parnell suspended his campaign on Monday after a judge awarded his estranged wife sole legal custody of their children amid abuse allegations. Former President Donald Trump had in recent weeks expressed dismay at the state of Sean Parnell's Senate candidacy in Pennsylvania and blamed his son, Don Jr., for tethering him to the faltering campaign, according to a Politico report. Parnell, an Army veteran and former congressional candidate who was highly touted by Trump's son and endorsed by the former president in September, suspended his campaign on Monday after losing a child custody battle.
The television personality announced his candidacy inin the conservative Washington Examiner on Tuesday. In it, Oz — who has faced criticism for promoting unproven or alternative medicine over the years — promoted himself as a steady hand to combat the coronavirus pandemic as he criticized policymakers' handling of the crisis.
"During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That's why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal," he wrote.
To win back control of a Senate split 50-50 by party, the GOP may need to defend Toomey's seat in the battleground state. Pennsylvania backed President Joe Biden by a 1.2 percentage point margin to help to send him to the White House last year. The political environment in 2022 will likely be more favorable to Republicans.
Dr. Oz equipped to fill void in Pennsylvania Senate race
Celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz is poised to shake up the Pennsylvania Senate race, bolstered by a vast personal fortune to invest in a 2022 campaign and enviable poll numbers that suggest the Republican would be an immediate front-runner. © Provided by Washington Examiner Oz, 61, has not decided whether to pull the trigger on a bid for the seat being relinquished by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
The GOP primary is considered wide open after Trump-backed candidateafter he lost custody of his children amid allegations of domestic abuse. While it is unclear who the former president will endorse now, Trump has gravitated toward television personalities in the past and even appointed Oz to his sports, fitness and nutrition council in 2018.
Democrats hope competition in a messy Republican primary — including pressure to embrace election conspiracy theories promoted by Trump — will leave the eventual GOP candidate weakened in a general election race. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta are among the Democrats running for Senate.
"The influx of unqualified, untested and wealthy Republican candidates in this race will intensify the viciousness of their intra-party fight and leave their ultimate nominee badly out of step with Pennsylvania's general election voters," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Patrick Burgwinkle said in a statement Tuesday. "The GOP will find Oz is no miracle cure for their mounting problems in this primary."
Oz has lived in New Jersey for two decades but started to vote in Pennsylvania after registering at his in-laws' address, according to the Associated Press. The wire service reported he voted by absentee ballot in the Keystone State — a method many Republicans have tried to limit since former President Donald Trump tied it to baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
FCC's 'Equal Time' Rules Prompt Stations to Take The 'Dr. Oz Show' Off The Air .
TV stations that air in and around Pennsylvania announced Wednesday they would stop airing Dr. Oz's show in an effort to avoid violating the campaign rule.The announcement comes a day after the host of the show, Dr. Mehmet Oz, officially entered the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, the Associated Press reported.