Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick conceded Friday to television celebrity physician Mehmet Oz
in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary.
Mr. Oz, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, moves on to face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democrat who cruised to victory in his primary race last month.
Mr. McCormick had hoped enough votes would swing in his favor during a recount of the hard-fought primary race, but came to the conclusion Friday that the votes were not there to reverse the result.
“It’s now clear to me with the recount now largely complete that we have a nominee,” Mr. McCormick said at a campaign party at a Pittsburgh hotel.
Mr. McCormick said it was time for the party to come together after a tough nomination race that ended with Mr. Oz winning by less than 1,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast.
Mr. Oz said he was grateful for Mr. McCormick’s pledge to support him.
“We share the goal of a brighter future for Pennsylvania and America,” he said. “Now that our primary is over, we will make sure that this U.S. Senate seat does not fall into the hands of the radical left, led by John Fetterman.”
The initial result in the GOP primary was close enough to trigger a recount, which, in turn, generated legal battles and court rulings that ultimately did not change the outcome.
Mr. Oz, who had already claimed victory, can now turn his full attention to Mr. Fetterman in what is expected to be one of the most-watched and most expensive Senate races in the nation.
In a likely preview of the attacks to come, Republicans this week said far-left activists are pouring into the state to support Mr. Fetterman and his “socialist” vision.
Democrats said Mr. Oz is a carpetbagger who has shown he will sacrifice anybody in his way for personal gain.
Questions, meanwhile, have swirled around Mr. Fetterman’s health since he had a stroke on May 13 and had a pacemaker implanted.
Mr. Fetterman tried to ease doubts Friday by releasing a letter from his cardiologist that said he would be able to return to the campaign trail and fulfill his duties as a senator if elected.
The letter also said Mr. Fetterman was first diagnosed with heart problems in 2017 and said he ignored doctor’s advice until he had a stroke.
“The prognosis I give for John’s heart is this: if he takes his medicine, eats healthy and exercises, he’ll be fine,” the letter read.