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Dr. Mehmet Oz, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, in 2018. (Photo: Milken Institute).

Jersey man’s Senate race in Pennsylvania is too close to call

Oz and McCormick in near-tie, while Rizzo ally Cawthorn loses in N.C.

By Joey Fox, May 17 2022 11:22 pm

Mehmet Oz, a Donald Trump endorsee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania who was until recently a resident of Cliffside Park, is locked in a too-close-to-call Republican primary against hedge fund manager Dave McCormick. With most of the state reporting at 11:20 p.m., McCormick led Oz 31.4% to 31.2%, and no major news outlets have called the race.

Oz, who made his name as a medical TV personality, was born in Ohio but spent most of his adult life in Bergen County. Though he considered running as a Republican in New Jersey several times, including in both 2006 and 2008 for the U.S. Senate, he never took the plunge.

Last November, Oz saw a new political opportunity arise in Pennsylvania after Republican Senate frontrunner Sean Parnell dropped out of the race. Oz voted in New Jersey as recently as the 2020 general election and only has ties to Pennsylvania via his in-laws, but he quickly became a leading contender for the nomination, especially after Trump endorsed him last month.

McCormick and Oz heavily attacked one another in the lead-up to the primary, while a third contender, 2020 House candidate Kathy Barnette, snuck up as an alternate option; she currently trails with 24.4% of the vote. The eventual winner will face Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who won his primary in a rout.

Elsewhere in the country, scandal-engulfed Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), the most prominent backer of NJ-7 candidate Phil Rizzo, narrowly lost his own primary to North Carolina State Sen. Chuck Edwards. Cawthorn has a fundraiser for Rizzo scheduled on May 26, which he’ll now have to either cancel or attend as a lame-duck congressman.

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