What to Know
- The celebrity doctor has lived for decades in New Jersey, but last year voted in Pennsylvania by absentee ballot from an address in the Philadelphia suburbs where his his wife's parents live.
- Dr. Mehmet Oz works in New York City, where he practices medicine and films his daytime television show called "Dr. Oz."
- His wealth and name recognition would put him front-and-center of a crowded field of Republican candidates vying for their party's nomination in May. The winner will face off against the Democratic nominee in next November's general election.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon best known as the host of TV’s Dr. Oz Show, announced Tuesday that he is running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat as a Republican.
Oz brings his unrivaled name recognition and wealth to a wide-open race that is expected to among the nation’s most competitive and could determine control of the Senate in next year's election.
Oz — a longtime New Jersey resident — enters a Republican field that is resetting with an influx of candidates and a new opportunity to appeal to voters loyal to former President Donald Trump, now that the candidate endorsed by Trump has just exited the race.
Oz, 61, announced his candidacy in a video posted on Twitter. He has been toying with the idea of entering the race for several weeks, according to previously published reports and those familiar with his plans.
Previously, Oz said through a TV show spokesperson that he had received encouragement to run.
He is expected to appear Tuesday night on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, which Hannity previewed by saying that Oz would appear on it and that “he has a huge announcement. Hint: think midterm election.”
As one of the nation’s biggest presidential electoral prizes, Pennsylvania put Democrat Joe Biden over the top in last year’s election. His 1 percentage point victory put the swing state back in Democratic hands after Trump won it even more narrowly in 2016.
Oz may have to explain why he isn’t running for office in New Jersey, where he has lived for the past two decades before he began voting in Pennsylvania’s elections this year by absentee ballot, registered to his in-laws’ address in suburban Philadelphia.
His longtime home is above the Hudson River in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan, where he films his TV show and practices medicine. Oz became a household name after gaining fame as a guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show.
His campaign website launched Tuesday has an address in Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County, where his wife's parents have lived for years.
One of the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, Montgomery County Commissioner Chairwoman Dr. Val Arkoosh, said Oz lacks any political experience and should stick to being a medical doctor. Arkoosh is also a medical physician.
"We’ve seen what happens when TV personalities gain power in Washington and Dr. Oz is the last thing we need when our Commonwealth faces real challenges -- challenges like getting past COVID-19, helping folks get back to work, and tackling the climate crisis," Arkoosh said in a statement Tuesday. "I’m the doctor in this race with a proven track record, from fighting for my patients in the operating room to fighting to lead our Commonwealth’s third-largest county through COVID-19. That’s the kind of leadership needed now more than ever, not a TV personality who has peddled fake diet pills for-profit and pushed unproven COVID-19 treatments."