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November 30, 2021

Dr. Oz expected to run for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican

The TV personality reportedly will declare his candidacy Tuesday before appearing on Sean Hannity's talk show

Dr. Oz apparently believes he has an antidote for the ailments of a gridlocked U.S. Senate. The cardiothoracic surgeon turned talk show personality reportedly will try to needle his way into the legislative body by winning Pennsylvania's open-seat race. 

The doctor, whose full name is Mehmet Cengiz Öz, will announce his Republican primary bid to replace Republican Sen. Pat Toomey on Tuesday afternoon, FOX News reported. He is later expected to appear on Sean Hannity's show for his first national interview as a Senate candidate. 

On Monday, Hannity, one of the channel's most popular hosts, hinted Oz would appear on his Tuesday night show to make a "huge announcement" regarding the midterm elections. 

Oz already has hired top campaign aids and made contact with some of Pennsylvania's most powerful Republicans.

Although Oz earned his medical degree and master's in business at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1980s, his roots in Pennsylvania are otherwise shallow.

After living and voting in Bergen County, New Jersey for decades, Oz registered to vote at his wife's parents' home in Bryn Athyn, Montgomery County as a Republican last December. He has casted absentee ballots there twice.

Oz's eponymous show is still shot in New York City, which also is where his medical practice is located.

Toomey announced in October 2020 that he will retire at the end of his term, opening the floodgates for a wave of political hopefuls to duke it out in a race with great national implications.

With the body currently in a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans, all the senate races in swing states like Pennsylvania are being watched closely.

In Pennsylvania, the wide-open Republican primary has become particularly chaotic in recent weeks.

One-time frontrunner Sean Parnell, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, dropped out of the race earlier this month after a judge ruled against him in a messy custody battle with his ex-wife, who has lodged allegations of abuse against him.

Oz is entering a crowded field of Republican competitors including Montgomery County developer Jeff Bartos, U.S. ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands and conservative commentator Kathy Barnette. Hedge fund director and Connecticut resident David McCormick also is reportedly considering a run.

On the Democratic side, there are more than a dozen candidates including Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, of western Pennsylvania, and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, of Philadelphia.