Dr. Oz Joining Pennsylvania Senate Race as a Republican: Report

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a television personality and cardiothoracic surgeon who has donated to both Democrats and Republicans in the past, is preparing to enter the 2022 U.S. Senate race as a Republican representing Pennsylvania, influential party members told the Washington Free Beacon.

The source says that Oz has begun hiring staff and contacting political allies. It is unclear, however, when he will announce his run for office.

Oz’s connection to Pennsylvania comes from his graduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned both medical and business degrees. He owns property in New Jersey and Florida but does not appear to own any in Pennsylvania under his name. He does have a nonpermanent voter registration in Pennsylvania connected to his mother-in-law, who lives in Montgomery County.

”Since last year, Dr. Oz has lived and voted in Pennsylvania where he attended school and has deep family ties. Dr. Oz has received encouragement to run for the U.S. Senate, but is currently focused on our show and has no announcement at this time,” a spokesman for Oz told the Free Beacon.

Sen. Pat Toomey’s retirement next year leaves the seat open for a Republican primary and is considered a toss-up by many experts.

Oz would join Trump-backed military veteran Sean Parnell and business executive Jeff Bartos, among others, in the Republican primary. Parnell is considered the favorite to win but is facing allegations that he physically abused his wife and children. He has denied the  charges.

A Republican strategist in Pennsylvania, referencing the Parnell accusations, told the Free Beacon that ”Republicans can mess this up really quickly if we’re putting candidates on the stage whose backgrounds are going to be fodder for October and November campaign ads.”

Standing out as a television personality and perceived ”moderate,” Oz has contributed to politicians from both parties. Federal Election Commission records show donations to Republicans George W. Bush and the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Democrats such as John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

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