Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz, has received the endorsement from one of the state’s biggest newspapers, little more than a week into his heated race against Democratic Lt. gov. John Fetterman remains.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board on Sunday issued their endorsement, telling readers Oz was the candidate who was “better prepared for leadership,” citing concerns about Fetterman’s lack of transparency regarding his health and lack of experience in the real world as reasons for endorsement.
“We believe that Mr. Oz is the better choice for Pennsylvania,” the board wrote, before writing that Fetterman’s health, which stems from the stroke he suffered earlier this year, is not an issue for them.
“However, his lack of transparency in refusing to release his medical records is worrying. It indicates an impulse to obfuscate and a distrust of people. All candidates for major elected office should release their medical records, as should Mr. Oz. If you want privacy, don’t run for public office,” he added.
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The board wrote that Fetterman’s “life experience and maturity” are also of concern because he “lived off of his family’s money for much of his life” and had “little experience of holding real jobs or confronting the problems of working people.”
It also cited Fetterman’s lack of apology in an incident in which he pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black jogger after hearing gunshots and his flip-flop in support of fracking.
“Mr. Oz is extraordinarily wealthy but has largely achieved his worldwide fame and success through his own talent and determination,” the board wrote. “Unlike most Republican politicians, Candidate Oz spent a lot of time in poor neighborhoods, talking to people and, most importantly, listening and learning.”
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It wrote that Oz was more dovish on some issues than he was portrayed and that it didn’t believe he would be “an henchman” of more conservative Republicans or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“We are encouraged that Mr. Oz is presenting himself as a unifier who will work with Democrats to get things done for Pennsylvania. It remains to be seen if he can pull this off, but he has the potential to become an influential, thoughtful and independent Senator,” the board wrote. “Mr. Oz is personable, engaging, extremely intelligent and a good listener. Yes, he may sound like a smooth-talking salesman, but that may be what it takes to close deals in Washington.”
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“In a race where much depends and little is certain, Mehmet Oz has shown he is better equipped to lead and deliver for Pennsylvania,” he added.
The paper endorsed former President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, the first Republican it endorsed in a presidential election since 1972.
Fox News’ Power Rankings classified the race between Oz and Fetterman as a toss-up.
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The election will take place on Tuesday 8 November.