Marcello Maccani, FISM News
A recount in the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary race that has widespread ramifications didn’t stop candidate Dr. Oz from declaring victory on Friday. Oz thanked the voters of Pennsylvania in a video statement for giving him “the presumptive Republican nomination for the United States Senate.”
The too-close-to-call race triggered Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, requiring a recount for elections with margins of 0.5% or less.
The bold statement comes after Donald Trump, who had endorsed Oz in the race, early on in the counting urged him to do so on his social media platform Truth Social implying that a recount could result in fraud.
“Dr. Oz should declare victory. It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find,’” Trump stated. He later relayed his frustrations with the state’s election processes by contrasting the PA procedures with that of the recent presidential election in France, “The Pennsylvania Oz race is ridiculous. How long does it take to count votes. France, same day all paper, had VERIFIED numbers in evening. U.S. is a laughing stock on Elections. Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA! RIGGED?”
Before he declared victory, the Oz campaign released a press statement regarding the controversial counting of mail-in ballots.
The strongly-worded statement read in part, “David McCormick has been a formidable opponent, but it is becoming obvious that he is likely going to come up short to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Unfortunately, the McCormick legal team is following the Democrats’ playbook, a tactic that could have long-term harmful consequences for elections in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Oz’s opponent, stockbroker Dave McCormick, released a press statement on May 24 urging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to step in and “count the votes.” The statement read in part, “Media reports indicate that Dr. Oz’s slim lead could be withering away. McCormick appears to be benefiting from the mail-in vote more than Oz.”
McCormick stated that his intention in urging the courts to step in was not for them to decide the election, but rather “letting voters decide it by counting valid votes.” The statement ended by suggesting that perhaps Congress could intervene if necessary, and that valid mail-in votes need to be counted.
Wednesday is the set deadline for Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to begin the recount process. Seven counties began the process immediately following the order. Counties have until June 7 to finish a recount and another day to report results to the state. The initial count had Oz leading McCormick by 923 votes out of over 1.3 million ballots cast. Oz has found support from both the National Republican Committee and the Pennsylvania Republican Party in opposing the McCormick campaign’s attempts to count mail-in ballots without handwritten signature dates.
The winner will face Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman in November.
Democrats view the race as an opportunity to pick up an important Senate seat from retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey.