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Dr. Oz wins the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania after McCormick concedes

Mehmet Oz greets supporters on May 17, 2022 in Newtown, Penn.
Stephanie Keith
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Mehmet Oz greets supporters on May 17, 2022 in Newtown, Penn.

Updated June 6, 2022 at 12:03 PM ET

Dave McCormick conceded Friday to celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania's Republican Senate primary as the state conducted a recount of the May 17 election.

According to The Associated Press, Oz led McCormick by 972 votes and the final results of the automatic recount were expected early next week.

In remarks to supporters on Friday evening, McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO, said he could not make up the deficit in the recount.

"Today I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory, and I told him what I always told you: that I will do my part to try to unite Republicans and Pennsylvanians behind his candidacy, behind his nomination for the Senate," McCormick said.

Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, will now face Democrat John Fetterman, the state's lieutenant governor, in November.

"I received a gracious phone call from David McCormick and am tremendously grateful for his pledge of support in the fall election," Oz tweeted. "We share the goal of a brighter future for Pennsylvania & America."

Dave McCormick greets supporters at the Indigo Hotel during a primary election night event on May 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Dave McCormick greets supporters at the Indigo Hotel during a primary election night event on May 17 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Fetterman is recovering from a stroke he suffered days before the primary; he needed to undergo a pacemaker implant procedure. He has since not returned to the campaign trail and has only done video appearances since.

Earlier Friday, Fetterman released a statement saying he should have taken his health more seriously and had not seen a doctor in five years.

"Like so many others, and so many men in particular, I avoided going to the doctor, even though I knew I didn't feel well. As a result, I almost died," Fetterman said.

He also posted a letter from his cardiologist who said that if Fetterman takes care of himself and follows doctors' orders, he will be able to return to the campaign trail and serve in the Senate.

The Senate seat is being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, creating the first open Senate seat in Pennsylvania in a dozen years. The Republican primary recount was automatic because Oz's lead was less than half a percentage point.

The two GOP candidates had fought in court about the recount, and about a dispute over mail ballots that arrived on time but did not include a date written by voters.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.