Oprah endorses John Fetterman over Mehmet Oz for Pennsylvania Senate


Oprah Winfrey on Thursday endorsed John Fetterman (D) in the hotly contested Senate race in Pennsylvania, rejecting Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate running for the same seat she helped make famous.

“If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman, for many reasons,” Winfrey, a longtime Democrat, said during a virtual town hall meeting.

The TV icon also said Pennsylvania was “not the only race that matters” and endorsed other Democrats running in next week’s midterm elections, including Beto O’Rourke in Texas and Raphael G. Warnock and Stacey Abrams in Georgia.

Fetterman’s campaign welcome gesture. “It speaks volumes that Oprah would endorse Fetterman over Oz, after declining to weigh in on Oz’s primary,” his campaign team said in a press release.

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Winfrey spoke at a Zoom event hosted by the Oprah Winfrey Network that focused on encouraging voters — especially young people and black women — to vote.

Her comments endorsing Fetterman come days before the pivotal Pennsylvania election, one of several tight races that could determine which party controls the Senate after the midterms. Polling averages show at least seven Senate races within the margin of error, The Washington Post reported last week.

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Fetterman and Oz clashed in a debate last month, but Fetterman gave a halting performance and showed signs of the stroke he suffered in May. It drew concern from those who worry he might not be able to carry out the duties of his office if he wins the race, and applause from those who praised his bravery in revealing the auditory processing challenges he still be faced with.

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Winfrey’s support of Fetterman serves as a rebuke to Oz, whose earlier television career Winfrey helped launch and grow. Oz, a physician, hosted a show on the Discovery Channel in the early 2000s called “Second Opinion with Dr. Oz.” Winfrey appeared on that show as a guest. Oz later joined Winfrey’s popular talk show, and gained national fame after more than 60 appearances. In 2009, he continued to host “The Dr. Oz Show,” which was co-produced by Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions.

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As a celebrity doctor, Oz provided a platform for potentially dangerous products and fringe views, The Post reported, including a weight-loss approach that was outright refuted by the Food and Drug Administration.

In Winfrey’s remarks Thursday, she urged voters to “use judgment and choose wisely to preserve democracy in our country,” according to her spokeswoman.

Oz’s campaign team could not immediately be reached late Thursday, but his spokeswoman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Oz “loves Oprah and respects the fact that they have different politics. He thinks we need more balance and less extremism in Washington.”


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