McCormick concedes Oz in Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary – Boston News, Weather, Sports

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick admitted to famous heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz entered the Pennsylvania Republican primary for the US Senate, ending his campaign Friday night when he conceded that an ongoing statewide recount would not give him enough votes to close the deficit.

After a bitter campaign that flooded the airwaves with millions of dollars in attack advertising, McCormick made a generous concession and pledged to help unite the party behind Oz.

“Now that the recount is largely complete, it’s clear to me that we have a candidate,” McCormick said at a campaign party at a Pittsburgh hotel. “And today I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his win.”

McCormick’s concession cements a general election campaign between Oz that was supported by ex-President Donald Trumpand Democrat John Fetterman in one of the nation’s most important Senate contests.

National parties are already sponsoring attacking television ads in a presidential battleground state still reeling from Trump’s baseless claims of a stolen 2020 election.

The result could help determine control of the tightly divided chamber, and Democrats see it as perhaps their best opportunity to secure a seat in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

More than two weeks before the primary, Republicans had begun to contemplate a bitter primary extended further by a recount and Postal ballot lawsuits.

“I think it’s going to be fine, I think there’s going to be zero problems,” said Pat Poprik, the GOP chairman in densely populated Bucks County, where members of the state party committee had backed McCormick. “A lot of people I know liked both candidates, liked both and had to choose between them at the last minute.”

In a statement, Oz said he was grateful for McCormick’s pledge of support.

Before the recount, Oz McCormick led by 972 votes out of 1.34 million votes counted in the May 17 primary. The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the race as an automatic recount is underway and the gap between the two candidates is just 0.07 percentage points.

Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, confirmed in a statement earlier Friday that he almost died when he suffered a stroke just days before his elementary school. He said he ignored warning signs and a doctor’s advice to take blood thinners for years.

Oz, best known as the anchor of the daytime show The Dr. Oz Show” has had to overcome a spate of attack publicity and concerns among hard-line Trump supporters over his conservative credentials on guns, abortion, transgender rights and other core Republican issues.

61-year-old Oz relied on Trump’s endorsement as proof of his conservative credibility, while Trump attacked Oz’s rivals and claimed Oz had the best chance of winning on the presidential battlefield in November.

Oz had little history with the Republican Party — but he had a nearly 20-year friendship with Trump, and as Trump told him during an appearance on The Oz Show in 2016, “You know my wife is a huge fan of your show. “

Meanwhile, McCormick did Oz’s dual citizenship in Turkey is an issue in the running, suggesting that Oz would pose a national security risk. If elected, Oz would become the nation’s first Muslim Senator.

Born in the United States, Oz served in the Turkish military and ran in the 2018 elections. Oz said he would give up his Turkish citizenship if he won November’s election and he accused McCormick of carrying out “bigoted” attacks.

For months, Oz and McCormick flooded the state’s airwaves with political ads and spent millions of their own money. McCormick, who was virtually unknown to voters four months ago, had to introduce himself to voters, and he sifted through Oz’s long history as a public figure for assault allegation material. He got help from a super PAC who backed him and spent $20 million.

Like McCormick, Oz moved to Pennsylvania from out of state.

Oz, a Harvard graduate, New York Times bestselling author, and self-proclaimed wellness advocate, has lived for the past few decades in a mansion in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, perched above the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan – Draw allegations of being a carpet digger and political tourist.

The famed cardiac surgeon stressed his ties to Pennsylvania, saying he grew up just across the state line in Delaware, attended medical school in Philadelphia, and married a native of Pennsylvania.

Before he ran McCormick was something of a celebrity on Wall Street, ran the world’s largest hedge fund, and had strong ties to the Republican Party establishment, dating back to his tenure in the administration of former President George W. Bush. His wife, Dina Powell, was Trump’s deputy national security adviser and also had strong ties to the party.

McCormick had long considered running for public office, moving from his home on Connecticut’s ritzy Gold Coast to a home in Pittsburgh before declaring his candidacy.

He emphasized his Pennsylvania connections: He grew up on a farm as a high school wrestling and football star before going to West Point and fighting in the Gulf War. He also spent 10 years in Pittsburgh on business, giving him a stronger claim to Pennsylvania than Oz.

Like Oz, McCormick had worked hard to earn Trump’s support, and he insisted he was the authentic “America First” candidate, invoking Trump’s nickname for his governing philosophy.

However, Trump repeatedly attacked McCormick in the final two weeks of the campaign, leading a pro-Oz rally at which he dubbed McCormick the “candidate of the special-interest and globalists and the Washington establishment.”

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

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Nate Jones

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