Dr. Oz declares himself ‘presumed’ GOP Senate candidate as Pennsylvania recount begins

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Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz says he is “lucky to have won the presumptive Republican nomination for the United States Senate” in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon, author and physician who, until launching his Senate campaign late last year, was the host of the popular “Dr. Oz Show” on television, urged Republicans to say it was “time to unite” as he made his Friday announcement in a video shared on social media.

PENNSYLVANIA DECLARES RECOUNT TO OZ-MCCORMICK SENATE GOP PRIMARY

The announcement came on the same day Pennsylvania counties could begin their recount in the race between Oz and Dave McCormick, the top two voters among the seven candidates in last week’s Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania.

According to unofficial statements from the Pennsylvania State Department, Oz leads McCormick by 902 votes, well below the 0.5% threshold for an automatic recount. Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Leigh Chapman announced on Wednesday that the election was heading for a recount. Counties could begin recounting the vote as early as Friday, but must begin no later than June 1. And counties must wrap up their tabulations by noon June 7 and submit their recount results by noon the next day.

RNC STEPS IN TO BLOCK MCCORMICK’S ABSENT VOTE MOVE

Even as the recount was announced, the vote count for the May 17 primary continues.

Elections and Commissions Assistant Secretary Jonathan Marks said Thursday that around 10,000 ballots had yet to be counted – including around 6,000 mail-in and mail-in ballots (including up to 3,000 foreign or military ballots) and 4,000 provisional ballots. No breakdown of the number of ballots remaining to be counted in the Republican or Democratic primaries was given.

Dave McCormick and his wife Dinah Powell chat with supporters on primary election night, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
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Dave McCormick and his wife Dinah Powell chat with supporters on primary election night, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

McCormick or Oz will face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who easily won the Democratic nomination in the fight to succeed retired GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. The race is one of the few across the country that will likely decide whether Republicans win back a majority in the Senate in November’s midterm elections.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS PRIMARY RESULTS

McCormick said in a statement earlier this week that “this narrow difference triggers an automatic recount, and we look forward to a speedy resolution so our party can unite to defeat socialist John Fetterman in the fall.”

Oz, McCormick and the other top contenders in the GOP nomination race have all worked for months to win former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Sixteen months away from the White House, the former president remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party as he continues to play the role of kingmaker in the party’s primaries and repeatedly flirts with another national bid in 2024.

Mehmet Oz waves to supporters during a nighttime campaign rally in Newtown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Mehmet Oz waves to supporters during a nighttime campaign rally in Newtown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Trump endorsed Oz last month and thanks to his all-court press during the final days of campaigning on Oz’s behalf, he was a key factor in the race. His vocal support for Oz likely helped ease the fears of many right-wingers who worried about Oz’s conservative credentials.

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Trump – who for a year and a half has continuously questioned his defeat in the 2020 presidential election and repeatedly made unproven claims that the election was “rigged” with “massive voter fraud” – the day after last week’s primary alleged in a statement on social media that “in Pennsylvania they are unable to count mail-in ballots. That’s a BIG MESSAGE.”

And he insisted that “Dr. Oz declare victory. It’s much harder for them to cheat with the ballots they ‘find’.”

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