TV medical personality Mehmet Oz, until recently a resident of Cliffside Park, is returning home to Bergen County tonight for a high-dollar fundraiser to support his bid for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania.
The listed hosts of the event in Carlstadt are Bergen County Republican chair Jack Zisa, State Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), and state Republican vice chair Darlene Shotmeyer.
Also hosting will be Gail Gordon, a Republican fundraiser and Pennsylvania native who was a top aide to former Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh; Chuck Shotmeyer, Darlene Shotmeyer’s husband and a member of an influential family in Bergen County Republican circles; Zane Tankel, a top Applebee’s executive; and former Assemblyman Guy Talarico (R-Oradell), who resigned from his role as county party chair in 2007 following his involvement in a racist mailer incident.
The at-least-$2,900-a-person event is notable in part because Bergen County Republicans have several races of their own to contend with this year: a congressional race against Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) as well as campaigns to unseat the sitting Democratic county executive and county commissioners.
But Oz, who was heavily involved in New Jersey Republican cycles in previous years, apparently takes precedence for now. He publicly mulled campaigns for U.S. Senate in New Jersey in both 2006 and 2008, ultimately deciding against it both times.
Oz’s campaign for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania, a state where the Oprah protégé seems to have relatively few connections other than his in-laws’ home address, began last November after Republican frontrunner Sean Parnell dropped out following allegations of spousal and child abuse. Oz voted from his New Jersey address as recently as November 2020, only switching his voter registration to Pennsylvania last year.
Earlier this week, Oz got an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, likely establishing him as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the competitive state.