Fetterman, Oz in the Run for US Senate in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Control of the US Senate could depend on whether Pennsylvanians defeat Democrat John Fetterman or Republican Dr. Vote for Mehmet Oz, completing a hard-hitting and extraordinary campaign for a vacancy.

Fetterman, the towering and humble lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, spent much of the campaign recovering from a stroke in May while repelling attacks from Oz that questioned whether he was being honest and of service in relation to his impact.

Two weeks before the race, Fetterman put on a rocky debate performance, struggling to complete sentences, mixing up words during the hour-long televised event and stoking concern in his party that it diminished his chances.

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To underscore the importance of the race, President Joe Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania three times for Fetterman in the last three weeks, while former President Donald Trump walked in to hold a rally for Oz, his supported candidate.

Polls show a close race.

Oz, 62, carried his own luggage to the presidential battleground state election. The talkative and wealthy heart surgeon-turned-TV star has just moved out of his longtime home in neighboring New Jersey — a mansion overlooking the Hudson River, just across the street from Manhattan — and has barely won a bloody primary in which opponents found him have been discarded as an outcast-of-touch Hollywood liberal.

With his slogan “every county, every vote,” the 53-year-old tattooed, hoodie-wearing Fetterman tried to bring the Democratic Party back to rural areas. On the way he promised to send the “51. “Voice” for Democrats to pass fundamental legislation protecting abortion rights, same-sex marriage, unions and elections, and raising the minimum wage.

Fetterman has described a vote for Oz as a vote to ban abortion – ridiculing Oz’s comment that he wants “women, doctors, local political leaders” to decide the fate of abortion – and Oz as a soulless TV salesman who sold useless supplements for money and will say or do anything to get elected.

He also ran a wacky social media campaign, garnering a barrage of small donations and mercilessly trolling Oz for his unconventional and ultra-rich lifestyle, which is pioneering new ways campaigns could use the medium.

The Pennsylvania seat is going open because second-term Republican Senator Pat Toomey opted out of a third term. Polling stations in Pennsylvania are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m

Oz would be the first Muslim in the US Senate.

A political freshman, Oz left his lucrative daytime television career for politics in a new state and had the help of national political headwinds against the Democrats, such as B. the rising inflation. Still, he struggled to convince Conservatives that he was one of them while working to win over suburban swing voters and replace heavily Democratic-leaning black and Hispanic voters.

He relentlessly attacked Fetterman for being flipped on natural gas drilling and progressive stances on things like criminal justice reform. Fetterman, as Lieutenant Governor, had set out to free those who had been imprisoned, rehabilitated or innocent for too long. But Oz and the Republicans often portray it as freeing dangerous criminals to roam the streets, distorting Fetterman’s positions in the process.

Oz also challenged Fetterman on whether he had been honest about the effects of the stroke and urged Fetterman to release his medical records. Fetterman refused and also refused to let his doctors answer reporters’ questions.

The stroke left Fetterman occasionally tripping over words and unable to quickly turn spoken conversation into meaning, a common consequence of stroke called auditory processing disorder. Fetterman has insisted he will make a full recovery, but he also requested closed captions during media interviews and the lonely debate between the men.

Attempting to turn his recovery into a strength, he accused Oz of trying to capitalize on his disability and said it made him more empathetic to those with medical conditions.

The election was the most expensive for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania at over $300 million. Money poured in from national groups, and Oz spent more than $25 million of his own fortune on the race.

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Follow Marc Levy on Twitter: twitter.com/timelywriter.

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Learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections. And follow AP’s election coverage of the 2022 election at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.



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