Donald Trump’s choice for Pennsylvania governor has won his primary, and his Senate pick is locked in an exceedingly close contest as the former president works to expand his hold on the Republican Party.
Trump’s late endorsement helped put the already surging Doug Mastriano, a far-right state senator, over the top Tuesday in the GOP governor’s primary in one of the nation’s premier battleground states. But Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by Trump, is locked with former hedge fund manager David McCormick in a race that is too early to call.
As of early Wednesday morning, Oz led with 31.3% of the vote, just ahead of McCormick with 31.1% with 95% of the vote in. Kathy Barnette, a candidate who surged late in polling ahead of the primary, appears to be destined to a third-place finish. She had 24.8% as of Wednesday morning.
Oz addressed voters late on Tuesday, thanking Trump for his endorsement.
"President Trump, after he endorsed me, continued to lead into this race in Pennsylvania. He knows all the subtleties of it. He was willing to participate with tele-town halls, which he advised that I do, was a brilliant idea. He participated in a massive rally out in Westmoreland County, and God bless you," Oz said.
McCormick displayed confidence late Tuesday that his campaign would advance to the November general election.
"There's been a huge outpouring of support. We knew it, we felt it on the ground. We knew, We knew it was working. We knew our re our message to take back this country. We knew our message was resonating with the voters of Pennsylvania, and they showed it today and were so incredibly grateful. Thank you all so much," McCormick said.
On the Democratic side, progressive Lt. Gov. John Fetterman easily secured his party's Senate nomination.