early and often

Welcome to Oz, Pennsylvania

Mehmet Oz accepting a call from Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Photo: Rachel Wisniewski/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dr. Mehmet Oz — the Turkish American heart surgeon turned daytime TV celebrity turned Trump-backed carpetbagging U.S. Senate candidate — has now officially won Pennsylvania’s GOP primary. Oz had maintained a narrow lead over former hedge-fund CEO David McCormick since the state’s primary more than two weeks ago, but the close result triggered a statewide recount as well as lawsuit threats regarding mail-in ballots. Then McCormick conceded on Friday night, acknowledging that the nearly finished recount wouldn’t gain him enough votes to overtake Oz — and he pledged to support the celebrity doctor despite their bitter primary fight.

Oz will now face Democratic senate nominee John Fetterman in one of the most important races of the 2022 midterms. Fetterman, the state’s popular and idiosyncratic lieutenant governor, easily won the Democratic primary days after surviving a dangerous stroke. “I almost died,” Fetterman said Friday in a statement accompanying a long-awaited doctor’s letter regarding his health and ability to campaign. Fetterman’s doctor said that if he took his medication and maintained a healthy lifestyle, Fetterman should remain out of the woods and can safely return to the campaign trail.

Trump had pushed Oz to prematurely declare victory (as he undoubtedly would have in his loafers); Oz ended up calling himself the “presumptive Republican” nominee instead. Dr. Oz lived in New Jersey prior to becoming a would-be Pennsylvania politician, which was the primary focus of the Fetterman campaign’s first fundraising pitch following Oz’s victory on Friday.

Welcome to Oz, Pennsylvania