- Celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz is running for Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania.
- He announced his campaign in a Washington Examiner column on Tuesday.
- The seat he is running for is being vacated by long-serving Sen. Pat Toomey.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a celebrity heart surgeon best known as the host of the “Dr. Oz Show,” announced on Tuesday that he’s running for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania.
“I’m running for the Senate to empower you to control your destiny, to reinvigorate our great nation, and to reignite the divine spark that we should always be seeing in each other,” Oz, who is running as a Republican candidate, said in a Washington Examiner column announcing the campaign.
The seat Oz is running for is being vacated by long-serving Sen. Pat Toomey. The contest for the open seat in Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground state, could prove pivotal to determine control of the Senate. The Democrats vying for the seat include Rep. Conor Lamb, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta, and Val Arkoosh, a physician.
Oz is jumping into the field for the Senate seat after Sean Parnell, a Republican candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump, dropped out of the race after losing custody of his children in a contentious divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife.
Oz has resided in New Jersey for the past two decades and only registered to vote in Pennsylvania, from his in-laws’ address in Montgomery County, last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
In his Washington Examiner column, which did not once mention Pennsylvania or why he wants to represent it in the Senate, Oz criticized “government-mandated policies that caused unnecessary suffering” during the coronavirus pandemic and touted Trump’s COVID-19 vaccine program.
“Although we had some moments of brilliance, such as the gift to the world of mRNA vaccines made possible by President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, many great ideas were squashed,” he wrote. “That’s not the America my parents came to. That’s not the one I grew up in. That’s not the one I want to leave behind.”
Oz rose to celebrity status thanks in part to talk show host Oprah Winfrey frequently featuring him and eventually making him an on-air medical expert on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” giving Oz the platform to launch his own TV show.
Oz, who has substantial resources to fund his campaign, will be competing in the Republican primary along with former US Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands, real estate developer Jeff Bartos, and Kathy Barnette.