November 10, 2021
Dr. Oz, the famous TV doctor, thinks he could heal the ailing federal government. That's why he's reportedly considering a 2022 Republican U.S. Senate run in Pennsylvania.
Although the doctor hasn't made an official announcement yet, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday that Oz has already begun hiring campaign staffers and reaching out to possible allies.
He would join a highly contested race to replace Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who plans to retire at the end of his term after 11 years in the Senate.
Oz, an Ohio-born and Delaware-raised son of Turkish immigrants whose full name is Mehmet Cengiz Öz, has limited ties to the Keystone State aside from the graduate medical and business degrees he received at the University of Pennsylvania.
Although a spokesperson for the doctor told the Beacon that Oz "has lived and voted in Pennsylvania … since last year," he is currently registered to vote in Bergen County, New Jersey.
It's unclear whether Oz has established residency in Pennsylvania or if he would still need to do that. The Beacon reported that the cardiothoracic surgeon had registered to vote in at least one election in the state using the address of a home in Montgomery County belonging to his mother-in-law.
The doctor would undoubtedly be an outsider in the senate due to his lack of political experience. Oz, who the Beacon reported has donated to both Democrats and Republicans in the past, rose to fame as a health expert on the "Oprah Winfrey Show."
He got his own program, "The Dr. Oz Show," in 2009 which is expected to continue airing new episodes through 2023. An unnamed spokesperson for Oz told the Beacon that the doctor is still focused on his show at this time.
Oz would be entering a crowded race.
At least a dozen other Republicans are now officially running, including Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County businessman, and Sean Parnell, a retired Army officer embroiled in a messy public custody battle with his ex-wife.
On the Democratic side there are even more declared candidates, including frequent, progressive pundit and current Lt. Gov. John Fetterman; U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democrat from Mt. Lebanon, Allegheny County, who is more of a centrist with close ties to the Biden administration; and Malcolm Kenyatta, the state representative from North Philly.
Given the extremely tight margin Democrats currently have in the evenly divided senate, the rest of the country is expected to pay close attention to the race in Pennsylvania. The winner will most likely have an outsized influence on national politics going forward.
Pennsylvania's Republican and Democratic primaries will take place on May 17.