Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Senate primary on Wednesday, narrowly defeating former hedge fund CEO David McCormick after a dayslong recount.
Oz will face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in November in a race that could help determine control of the closely divided Senate. Democrats view it as perhaps their best opportunity to pick up a seat in the race to replace retiring two-term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
The recount determined that Oz had eked out victory over McCormick by 951 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast. That margin dropped by 21 votes from the Associated Press tally of the initial result in the May 17 primary election.
McCormick conceded to Oz last Friday, acknowledging after a week of the county-by-county recount that he was not getting the boost he needed to close the gap.
Trump endorsed Oz about five weeks before the primary, saying his decision was “all about winning elections.” The former president also had a long personal history with Oz, who is best known as the host of daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show.” Trump said his wife, Melania, was a big fan of the show.
Fetterman, meanwhile, is recovering from a stroke he suffered just days before his own primary, which he easily won. He said last week that he “almost died” from the stroke, acknowledging that he had ignored warning signs for years and a doctor’s advice to take blood thinners.
He has remained out of public view and has given no date to return to campaigning.