Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
spotlight AP

Dr. Oz running for Senate seat in Pennsylvania

  • Updated
  • 0

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon best known as the host of TV’s "Dr. Oz Show" after rocketing to fame on Oprah Winfrey's show, announced Tuesday that he is running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat as a Republican.

Oz, 61, will bring his unrivaled name recognition and wealth to a wide-open race that is expected to among the nation’s most competitive and could determine control of the Senate in next year's election.

Oz — a longtime New Jersey resident — enters a Republican field that is resetting with an influx of candidates and a new opportunity to appeal to voters loyal to former President Donald Trump, now that the candidate endorsed by Trump has just exited the race.

In a video message on social media, Oz casts himself as a sort of champion for people's health, who “took on the medical establishment to argue against costly drugs and skyrocketing medical bills” and is prepared to fight a government that he said has mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oz also makes a pitch to Trump loyalists — and possibly Trump, too — by invoking Trump's slogan for his governing philosophy, “America first.”

“As a heart surgeon, I know how precious life is,” Oz says. "Pennsylvania needs a conservative who will put America first, one who can reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom and tell it like it is.”

Election 2022 Senate Pennsylvania

This Dec. 4, 2019, photo shows Dr. Mehmet Oz at the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Gala in New York.

Oz in recent days has told associates and Republicans in Pennsylvania of his plans and, according to a TV show spokesperson, has lived and voted in Pennsylvania since last year.

As one of the nation’s biggest presidential electoral prizes, Pennsylvania put Democrat Joe Biden over the top in last year’s election. His 1 percentage point victory put the swing state back in Democratic hands after Trump won it even more narrowly in 2016.

Oz’s resume is dizzying: heart surgeon, author of New York Times bestsellers, Emmy-winning TV show host, radio talk show host, presidential appointee, founder of a national non-profit to educate teens about healthy habits and self-styled ambassador for wellness.

He was appointed by Trump to the presidential Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, guest-hosted the "Jeopardy!" game show and helped save a dying man at Newark Liberty International Airport last winter.

In his video message, he touts his entrepreneurship, saying he “invented a heart valve that saves thousands of lives.”

If support from Trump is important in the Republican primary, then Oz may have a leg up. As Oz interviewed Trump on his show in 2016, Trump told him, "you know my wife’s a big fan of your show.”

Still, Oz may have to explain why he isn’t running for office in New Jersey, where he has lived for the past two decades before he began voting in Pennsylvania’s elections this year by absentee ballot, registered to his in-laws’ address in suburban Philadelphia.

His longtime home is above the Hudson River in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan, where he films his TV show and practices medicine. Oz became a household name after gaining fame as a guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show before starting his own show in 2009.

These are the 10 Senate seats to watch as Democrats and Republicans battle for control of the Senate in the 2022 elections:

0 Comments

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

Sports Breaking News

News Alert