Pennsylvania secretary of state orders recount in GOP Senate primary between Oz and McCormick

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The race between famed doctor Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick is heading for a recount after Pennsylvania’s top election official said on Wednesday the margin between the two top Republican candidates was thin enough to trigger one a.

In a statement, Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman said she would “order a mandatory statewide recount in the May 17 Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat. Mehmet C. Oz and David H. McCormick, first and second respectively, have vote totals within the half-percent margin that triggers a mandatory recount under state law.

The move pushes the race result back to June because counties have until June 7 to recount ballots and notify the secretary of state of their findings by June 8.

According to the latest vote tally, Oz leads McCormick by 947 votes, out of more than 1.3 million votes.

The Post’s Annie Linskey discusses former President Donald Trump’s uneven influence on major primary races on May 17. (Video: Mahlia Posey/The Washington Post)

Oz has the backing of former President Donald Trump, who spoke out against the vote and urged the surgeon to simply declare himself the winner.

In a statement, McCormick said, “We are proud that our campaign received nearly 418,000 votes, won 37 of 67 counties, and contributed to historic turnout with minimal difference between me and Mehmet Oz.” He said the campaign looked forward to a “quick resolution” to the recount so “we can come together to defeat socialist John Fetterman in the fall”.

The Oz campaign did not immediately respond to news of the recount.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Lt. Gov. Fetterman (D) in a contest seen as crucial to control of the Senate. The seat is currently held by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R), who is retiring after 11 years in office.

Democrats seized on news of the recount on Wednesday, with the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee arguing that the eventual GOP winner will be damaged by the “endless intra-party struggle.”

“The recount will ensure that Republicans remain divided, disorganized and in chaos – and that whichever GOP candidate ultimately emerges will drink into the general election at even greater disadvantage,” the DSCC spokesperson said. , David Bergstein, in a press release.

The primary has also shone a spotlight on Republicans’ views on mail-in voting, after McCormick filed a lawsuit this week to ensure mail-in ballots without handwritten dates are not thrown out. The Oz campaign dismissed the move as an attempt to count “legally rejected votes”.

It’s unclear how many ballots are missing handwritten dates — but McCormick could get closer to Oz if those ballots are counted. While Oz fared better with in-person voting, mail-in ballots slightly favor McCormick, who captured 32% of the state’s mail-in votes versus Oz’s 23%, according to Department data. of Pennsylvania State.

María Luisa Paúl contributed to this report.

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