Sources: Dr. Oz plans to run for Senate seat in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celeb coronary heart surgeon finest often known as the host of TV’s Dr. Oz Show after rocketing to fame on Oprah Winfrey’s present, is planning to run for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat as a Republican, in keeping with three individuals aware of his plans.

Should Oz run, he would convey his unequalled identify recognition and wealth to a wide-open race that’s anticipated to among the many nation’s best and will decide management of the Senate in subsequent yr’s election.

Oz — a longtime New Jersey resident — would enter a Republican discipline that’s resetting with an inflow of candidates and a brand new alternative to attraction to voters loyal to former President Donald Trump, now that the candidate endorsed by Trump has simply exited the race.

Oz, 61, in latest days has advised associates and Republicans in Pennsylvania of his plans, in keeping with the three individuals who spoke to The Associated Press. Two individuals have been advised by Oz instantly, whereas the opposite was briefed on a separate dialog. Two of the individuals spoke on situation of anonymity to debate personal conversations.

Montgomery County’s GOP chair, Elizabeth Preate Havey, stated Oz advised her Friday that he’ll run. Separately, he spoke with Allegheny County’s GOP chair, Sam DeMarco, who stated Oz didn’t instantly say he’ll run, however “he left me with no doubt that he is going to be running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.”

Publicly, Oz has solely stated by way of a TV present spokesperson that he had obtained encouragement to run and that he has lived and voted in Pennsylvania since final yr.

The announcement may come Tuesday night time on Sean Hannity’s present on Fox News, which Hannity previewed by saying that Oz would seem on it and that “he has a huge announcement. Hint: think midterm election.”

As one of many nation’s greatest presidential electoral prizes, Pennsylvania put Democrat Joe Biden excessive in final yr’s election. His 1 share level victory put the swing state again in Democratic palms after Trump received it much more narrowly in 2016.

Oz’s resume is dizzying: coronary heart surgeon, writer of New York Times bestsellers, Emmy-winning TV present host, radio speak present host, presidential appointee, founding father of a nationwide non-profit to teach teenagers about wholesome habits and self-styled ambassador for wellness.

He was appointed by Trump to the presidential Council on Sports, Fitness and Health, guest-hosted the Jeopardy! sport present and helped save a dying man at Newark Liberty International Airport final winter.

Oz might have to clarify why he isn’t working for workplace in New Jersey, the place he has lived for the previous twenty years earlier than he started voting in Pennsylvania’s elections this yr by absentee poll, registered to his in-laws’ handle in suburban Philadelphia.

His longtime home is above the Hudson River in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan, the place he movies his TV present and practices drugs. Oz turned a family identify after gaining fame as a visitor on Oprah Winfrey’s present earlier than beginning his personal present in 2009.

Oz’s urge for food to develop his enterprise portfolio is voracious, with critics saying he usually promotes questionable merchandise and medical recommendation.

He has been dogged by accusations that he’s a charlatan promoting “quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain,” a bunch of docs wrote in 2015 in a letter calling for his firing from Columbia University’s medical college. He wasn’t fired.

Oz started making common appearances on Fox News after the beginning of the pandemic, and within the spring of 2020 got here below hearth for feedback suggesting that reopening colleges is perhaps value the additional deaths, as a result of it “may only cost us 2% to 3% in terms of total mortality.”

Researchers from the University of Alberta present in 2014 that, of 80 randomly chosen suggestions from Oz’s reveals, usually dietary recommendation, roughly half was unsupported by proof, or contradicted by it.

In any case, Oz could possibly be a part of an inflow of Republican candidates who, till lately a minimum of, didn’t stay in Pennsylvania, however, maybe extra importantly, are wealthy.

As Oz strikes to enter the race, a hedge fund CEO who lives in Connecticut, David McCormick, is working his approach throughout Pennsylvania this week assembly with Republican officers in expectation of returning to his native state to run.

The most outstanding Republicans already working are conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, actual property investor Jeff Bartos and Carla Sands, Trump’s rich ambassador to Denmark and fundraiser who has lately returned to her native Pennsylvania after spending many of the previous 4 many years in California.

Of them, none has received elective workplace earlier than, and solely Bartos has run statewide in Pennsylvania, as lieutenant governor on the GOP’s shedding gubernatorial ticket in 2018.

The Democratic discipline has been steady since August, and options candidates with much more electoral expertise — though far much less private wealth — than the Republican discipline. Their best-known candidates are John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of suburban Pittsburgh.

Oz was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of a coronary heart surgeon who emigrated from Turkey.

He attended highschool in Delaware and Harvard University as a university undergraduate, additionally taking part in soccer there, and served within the Turkish military to take care of his twin citizenship.

Oz’s spouse can also be the daughter of a outstanding coronary heart surgeon, and the 2 met in Philadelphia by way of their fathers when Oz attended medical college on the University of Pennsylvania.

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Tucker reported from Washington. Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/timelywriter.

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