Politico

Dr. Oz jumps the gun, declares himself ‘presumptive’ GOP Senate nominee


PHILADELPHIA — As state officials start the official recount in Pennsylvania’s too-close-to-call Senate GOP race, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz declared in a video Friday that he has “earned the presumptive Republican nomination.”

Oz is leading former hedge fund CEO David McCormick by 923 votes, or .07 percent, heading into the recount.

Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman this week ordered the recount, which is automatically triggered when a race comes down to a half of a percentage point or less. The runner-up in an election can waive off a recount, but McCormick declined to do so.

Asked about Oz’s claim to the party nomination, a spokesperson for McCormick pointed to a campaign statement earlier this week about the recount.

“We are proud our campaign received nearly 418,000 votes, won 37 of 67 counties, and contributed to a historic turnout with a razor-thin difference between myself and Mehmet Oz,” said McCormick at the time. “This narrow difference triggers an automatic recount, and we look forward to a swift resolution so our party can unite to defeat socialist John Fetterman in the fall.”

A McCormick aide added that “presumptive is right.”

In his video Friday, Oz sought to unite the Republican Party and pivot to the general election. He said he is “going to reach to every corner of this commonwealth” and will “work with anybody who’s got good ideas.”

Oz’s preemptive move comes on the heels of former President Donald Trump’s public statement last week — issued the day after the primary, when the picture was less clear — calling on Oz to go further and unilaterally declare victory.

The Department of State confirmed Wednesday evening that there were roughly 1,200 Republican mail-in ballots left to be adjudicated, in addition to 4,000 outstanding provisional ballots from all parties.

Oz and McCormick are also fighting over a pool of at least 860 Republican mail-in and absentee ballots that do not have a handwritten date on their envelopes. McCormick, who has outperformed Oz in the mail-in vote, has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to count those ballots. Oz has opposed the effort.

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