If Dr. Mehmet Oz loses the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, he could be back at his Cliffside Park home in time to vote in the June 7 Republican primary in New Jersey.
Records show that Oz remains on the voter rolls in Bergen County, where he voted as recently as November 2020.
“You could make a case that he’s a resident of New Jersey too,” said Christopher Durkin, the Essex County Clerk.
Durkin acknowledges that there is a gray area in New Jersey election law, which requires voters to have live in the state for 30 days and register at least 21 days before Election Day.
“I think the 30-day rule might prohibit him,” Durkin said. “But he’s already a New Jersey voter.”
Oz registered to vote from his in-laws’ address in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania last year. He did not vote in New Jersey in 2021.
Right now, Oz holds a razor-thin 1,951-vote lead over former Undersecretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush, in the GOP primary for Pat Toomey’s open Senate seat. The race appears headed to a recount.
But a loss by Oz could send him back to New Jersey, where he’s lived most of his adult life. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last month that more than 20 social media posts in the three months before he launched his Pennsylvania campaign showed him in Cliffside Park.
Expatriates from New Jersey could be responsible Oz’s lead in the Senate race.
State-by-state migration estimates by the U.S. Census in 2019 show that 43,295 New Jerseyans have moved to Pennsylvania, while 22,445 Pennsylvanians have relocated to New Jersey – a nearly 2-1 advantage for those making a west-bound exodus.
Oz, the cardiovascular surgeon-turned-TV star, has spent most of his life in New Jersey. Republicans sought to recruit him to run against Bob Menendez in 2006 and Frank Lautenberg in 2008.
This wouldn’t be the first time a New Jerseyan voted in two primaries the same year.
Matt Mowers voted in the February 2016 Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire, where he lived while serving as state director for Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign. That campaign ended the day after the New Hampshire primary, so Mowers returned to New Jersey, registered to vote in Hoboken, filed to run as an alternate delegate pledged to Donald Trump, and voted in the June 2016 New Jersey primary.