PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WHTM) – Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick has conceded the Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate race to former heart surgeon and TV personality Mehmet Oz.
McCormick said on Friday “we came so close” and that he called Oz to congratulate him on winning the race and that Oz has his full support during an eight-minute speech from Pittsburgh.
“It’s now clear to me, with the recount largely complete, that we have a nominee. and today I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory,” said McCormick. “And I told him what I’ve always said to you, that I will do my part to try to unite Republicans and Pennsylvanians behind his candidacy.”
Oz tweeted Friday night that he is “tremendously grateful for (McCormick’s) pledge of support in the fall election. We share the goal of a brighter future for Pennsylvania & America.”
“Now that our primary is over, we will make sure that this U.S. Senate seat does not fall into the hands of the radical left, led by John Fetterman,” continued Oz. “I look forward to campaigning in every corner of the Commonwealth for the next five months to earn the support of every Pennsylvanian.”
McCormick said he will “talk a lot more about the future at some other time.”
The May 17 primary has been one of the closest in recent memory with Oz leading by less than 1,000 votes. The race was close enough to trigger an automatic recount that is due to the Department of State by June 7 with the results to be announced by June 8.
In addition to the recount, McCormick and Oz’s campaigns had been in court fighting over whether to count undated mail-in ballots where voters forgot to put a date on the outside envelope. The Commonwealth Court and U.S. Supreme Court have weighed in on the issue and counties were ultimately told to count the undated ballots but set them aside from the properly dated ballots.
Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, claimed victory in the race in a campaign video on May 27 ahead of the recount. Seven candidates were on the Republican ballot and several either dropped out or failed to meet petition requirements.
An automatic recount was triggered between Oz and McCormick after the unofficial returns of the May 17 primary had them within 0.5% of each other. This is the seventh recount in Pennsylvania since 2004, the last in November 2021. None of those recounts changed the result of the election, according to Secretary of State Leigh Chapman.
The recount is expected to cost taxpayers $1 million, according to the Secretary of State.
Once the host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and attending physician at NY Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center, Oz announced his candidacy in December 2021 despite complaints that he is not from Pennsylvania.
The hard-fought primary for the Republican nomination to fill retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat is expected to be among the top races in the country in the November general election. The winner of the primary will face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic nomination just days after suffering a stroke.