Dr. Mehmet Oz, widely known as “Dr. Oz”, formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Dr. Oz was heavily rumored to be entering the race over the last several weeks but the news became official with an announcement video on Tuesday evening. The race had been thrown into disarray after leading GOP candidate Sean Parnell was forced to drop out of the race.
Oz is a celebrity heart surgeon who rose to prominence from hosting the “Dr. Oz” TV show. His announcement ad was heavy on COVID policy failures and opposition to big pharma. “COVID has shown us that our system is broken. We lost too many lives, too many jobs, because Washington got it wrong,” Oz said. “They took away our freedom without making us safer and tried to kill our spirit and our dignity.”
I’m running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania because America needs a Conservative Republican to cure what’s wrong with Washington. I’m a world-class surgeon, fighter, and health care advocate stepping forward to cure our country’s ills. Watch my announcement video now! pic.twitter.com/yLhKsZm9sl
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) November 30, 2021
The doctor styled himself as an “America first conservative” who will “tell it like it is.”
Oz brings unmatched name recognition to a race that is wide open. He was ridiculed by mainstream media outlets for saying that schools should re-open in April, 2020. This is a track record that could certainly help him with GOP voters, however. He discussed his platform more with Sean Hannity in an interview on Tuesday night. They talked border security, Oz’s connections with the state and job creation.
The doctor said America was “in crisis” but that the “prognosis was good”, adding that he wanted to help “us heal” in reference to the national political divide.
Sean Parnell, who had received President Trump’s endorsement, was forced to exit the race after losing custody of his children. Other notable candidates include businessman and former Lt. Governor candidate Jeff Bartos and Carla Sands, a businesswoman and former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark during the Trump Administration.
Leading candidates on the Democrat side include current Lt. Governor John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb. The seat is up for grabs after GOP Senator Pat Toomey announced his retirement late last year.