HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Famed cardiac surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick were almost undecided on Friday and began staffing their campaigns with recount specialists as vote counting entered the fourth day of the Pennsylvania Republican primary for a vacant US Senate seat.
Both campaigns have hired Washington-based attorneys to direct their recount efforts, and both have hired Philadelphia-based campaign strategists who have helped direct the operation to observe the Election Day vote count for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The two campaigns have already seen dozens of attorneys and volunteers scattered across the state on the presidential battlefield while poll workers and election officials toiled through the remaining ballots.
A recount would mean the outcome of the race may not be known until June 8, the deadline for counties to report their results to the state.
With thousands of ballots yet to be counted, Trump-backed Oz led McCormick by 1,092 votes, or 0.08 percentage point, out of 1,338,399 ballots counted as of Friday noon. The race remained close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, with the separation between candidates being within the law’s 0.5% margin.
The hard-fought primary for the Republican nomination for the seat of outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey in November’s general election is expected to be one of the best races in the country. The winner of the primary meets Lt. gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic nomination just days after suffering a stroke. He has said doctors expect him to make a full recovery and remained hospitalized on Friday.
County election officials began meeting Friday to resolve problem or provisional ballots, while poll workers trawled through thousands of outstanding mail-in ballots. In Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, this included some uncounted numbers from the electoral district.
The Pennsylvania State Department, which oversees the election, said nearly 28,000 mail-in and mail-in ballots — 8,300 in the Republican primary — have yet to be tallied, based on information it had from counties as of Friday noon.
Even before a recount begins, there could be a series of court cases challenging certain districts’ decisions about whether to count ballots, which may be difficult to read or have some sort of irregularity.
So far, no campaign has gone to court and both candidates have expressed confidence that they will win.
A recount could change the initial result: A recount of a statewide court contest last November resulted in a winner’s lead being filled by more than 5,500 votes in a race that saw 5.1 million ballots cast.
Nationally, McCormick outperformed Oz on absentee ballots, while Oz outperformed on Election Day votes cast. Counties also have yet to count provisional, foreign and military mail-in ballots before certifying their results to the state by the 5 p.m. deadline next Tuesday.
Republican turnout topped 38%, the highest mid-term primary in at least two decades, boosted by more than $70 million in advertising and other spending on the Senate GOP campaign.
Oz was helped by Trump support, while a super PAC supporting McCormick hit hard and spent about $20 million, much of it attacking Oz.
Both men spent millions of their own dollars on the campaign and fought back accusations of being carpet workers — Oz moved from a mansion in northern New Jersey overlooking Manhattan to run, while McCormick moved from Connecticut’s ritzy Gold Coast.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.
https://wsvn.com/news/politics/oz-mccormick-prepare-for-recount-in-pa-gop-senate-race/ Oz, McCormick prepare for the recount in the Senate race from Pa. GOP ahead – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports