Dr. Mehmet Oz confirmed Tuesday he is seeking an open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania as a Republican.
"I'm running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania because America needs a conservative Republican to cure what's wrong with Washington," the celebrated heart surgeon said in a post on Twitter with a video. "I'm a world-class surgeon, fighter, and healthcare advocate stepping forward to cure our country's ills."
In the video, Oz said he is running because "Washington got it wrong" when it came to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"COVID has shown us that our system is broken," he said in the video. "We lost too many lives, too many jobs, and too many opportunities because Washington got it wrong. They took away our freedom without making us safer and tried to kill our spirit and our dignity."
He said, as a heart surgeon, he knows how precious life is, and Pennsylvania needs "a conservative to put America first."
Tuesday's social media announcement ended speculation he would try and win the seat of Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who is retiring at the end of this federal legislative session in 2022.
"My family and I have reached a decision, and I wanted to share that with the people of Pennsylvania, and that is that I will not be running for re-election in 2022, and I will not be running for governor," Toomey announced in October 2020. "I will serve out the remainder of my term, for a little over two years that are left on the current term. And after that, my plan is to go back to the private sector."
According to U.S. News and World Report on Tuesday, Oz, 61, rose to prominence after being featured on Oprah Winfrey's television talk show, and then having a show of his own focusing on health.
In addition to his notoriety from television, Oz is also a renowned heart surgeon, The New York Times bestselling author, founder of a national nonprofit to educate teens about healthy living, and was appointed by former President Donald Trump to the presidential Council on Sports, Fitness, and Health.
Republican Party chairmen in Montgomery and Allegheny counties in Pennsylvania told the publication Oz had spoken with both and confirmed his intent to run.
While not saying it directly, Allegheny County GOP Chairman Sam DeMarco told the publication there was little doubt regarding his intentions.
"He left me with no doubt that he is going to be running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania," DeMarco said.
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