Dr. Oz is officially running for U.S. Senate.
The television personality and cardiothoracic surgeon, best known for his talk series “The Dr. Oz Show,” on Tuesday announced his candidacy via his website, which has been rebranded for his campaign. He is joining the high-stakes race for Pennsylvania’s open Republican Senate seat, as Sen. Pat Toomey retires.
“I’m running for U.S. Senate to reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom, and will tell it like it is,” Oz wrote in an announcement letter posted to his website.
TMZ first reported the news of Oz’s possible Senate run in early November, and sources told the New York Post that Oz was expected to confirm the rumors on Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday night, though Oz apparently decided to announce his run earlier. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Oz has hired campaign aides and started to reach out to Pennsylvania’s Republican leaders.
Earlier this month, Sean Parnell, the race’s presumed frontrunner who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, suspended his campaign after a judge ruled against him in a custody case alleging that he had abused his wife and three children.
Though Trump has yet to endorse Oz’s Senate run, the two have worked together previously. In 2018, Trump appointed Oz to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. Oz was appointed to a second term on the council in 2020.
Oz has faced criticism over the years for promoting alternative medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine as a form of treatment on multiple Fox News broadcasts, which was later denounced by the Food and Drug Administration.