Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon best known as the host of the Dr. Oz Show, announced Tuesday that he is running for Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican, looking to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.
"Pennsylvania needs a conservative who will put America first, one who can reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom, and tell it like it is," Oz said in a video posted to Twitter. The long-time television host, while born in Cleveland, Ohio, attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania.
I’m running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania because America needs a Conservative Republican to cure what’s wrong with Washington. I’m a world-class surgeon, fighter, and health care advocate stepping forward to cure our country’s ills. Watch my announcement video now! pic.twitter.com/yLhKsZm9sl— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) November 30, 2021
Oz, launching a political campaign for the first time, said his decision to run was largely based on the federal government's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
"COVID has shown us that our system is broken," he said. "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."
The doctor's announcement comes shortly after Trump-endorsed candidate Sean Parnell dropped out of the race amid a divorce and custody battle.
Businessman Jeff Bartos and former Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands remain in the race for the Republican primary while former Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and current Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick is reportedly eyeing a run for the Senate seat as well.