The Republican Senate primary race in Pennsylvania is still too close to call, with TV doctor Mehmet Oz with a slight lead at 402,629 votes to David McCormick‘s 401,133 votes. Kathy Barnette trailed with 315,027 votes. All tallies are according to the state election results as of Wednesday morning (May 18).
In 2009, Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions launched a syndicated talk show featuring Oz after he had made frequent appearances on her own show. Oz stepped away from the Sony Pictures Television series in 2021 when he decided to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Pat Toomey, who is retiring.
Oz is no stranger to Congress, having testified on the Hill back in 2014 about bogus weight-loss claims after the FTC filed suit against Pure Green Coffee for marketing dietary supplements online as a quick way to lose weight without diet or exercise. The coffee had been promoted on The Dr. Oz Show.
At the time, Oz said he wanted to be part of the solution. He conceded that his flowery language — using terms like “magic” and “miracle” had made the Federal Trade Commission’s job harder, but that he had toned it down, though not his passion for some of the products he promoted.
Former President Donald Trump had stumped for Oz in the race, the outcome of which in the general election could determine whether Republicans gain control of the Senate. The winner will go on to face Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the fall general election.
The primary race has also been viewed as a key test of the strength of a Trump endorsement. ■
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.