John Fetterman defeated Dr.  Oz in crucial Pennsylvania Senate race, huge win for Democrats

John Fetterman defeated Dr. Oz in crucial Pennsylvania Senate race, huge win for Democrats

Lt. Governor John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz

Lt. Governor John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bonnie Biess/Getty John Fetterman, Mehmet Oz

Democrat John Fetterman won the Pennsylvania Senate race over Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and won the Senate seat in blue, according to projections by several news networks — months after suffering a stroke in the midst of one of the most intense campaigns in the country.

“It’s official. I will be the next US Senator from Pennsylvania,” Fetterman tweeted early Wednesday morning. “We bet on the people of Pennsylvania — and you didn’t let us down. And I won’t let you down. Thank you.”

Oz has gained sudden momentum in recent weeks, with some polls calling him the frontrunner in a race that would prove key in determining which political party takes control of the US Senate. Their matchup eventually became the most expensive Senate race in the nation.

RELATED: John and Gisele Fetterman Talk About His ‘Public’ Stroke, Raising Kids on the Campaign Trail: ‘I Have No Regrets’

But Lt. Fetterman, 53, bossed Oz, 62, early in the race, often taking to social media to call out the former TV personality for blunders, including a widely publicized shopping trip for “crudités.”

In those early days, the biggest theme of the Fetterman vs. Oz rivalry was that one—the Democrat—was a native Pennsylvanian and the other—the Republican—was an out-of-touch transplant.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, meets with attendees at an SEIU event in Philadelphia, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, meets with attendees at an SEIU event in Philadelphia, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Ryan Collerd/AP Photo

RELATED: On National New Jersey Day, Pa. Senate challenger Oz ponders the Doctor’s Garden State Roots

But a stroke Fetterman suffered shortly before the Democratic primary in May made some voters nervous as time went on.

Fetterman easily won the primary, and his doctor later revealed that he had atrial fibrillation, which caused the stroke, and cardiomyopathy, which led him to undergo a pacemaker implant procedure with a defibrillator. Fetterman returned to the campaign trail in August, saying in an emotional speech that he felt “better than I have in years.”

But his stroke remained in the headlines, particularly as Oz’s campaign took up the issue of health, poking fun at it at times.

Oz and Fetterman engaged in a debate, clashing over a range of issues including abortion, a decision the Republican said should be left to “women, doctors [and] local political leaders.” Fetterman, meanwhile, said his campaign “will fight for Roe v. Wade.”

But most of the debate coverage hinged on Fetterman’s performance in the wake of his stroke, which required the use of closed-caption screens to show the moderators’ questions and the candidates’ answers.

RELATED: John Fetterman says he’s ‘100 percent’ capable of running for and winning Senate in first post-stroke interview

Oz announced his campaign last November, writing an op-ed for The Washington Examiner in which he wrote that he wanted to “help fix the problems and help us heal.”

The choice to launch a political campaign in Pennsylvania raises questions, as Oz previously lived and filmed his eponymous daytime talk show in New Jersey. He began voting in Pennsylvania elections via absentee ballots in 2021, and his Pennsylvania registration is linked to an address owned by his in-laws, the AP reported.

However, he received the support of the GOP after a tight primary that ended in a recount and also received high-profile endorsements, including that of former President Donald Trump.

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In his endorsement in April, Trump, then 75, said he had “known Dr. Oz for many years, as had many others, if only through his very successful television show. He lived with us through the screen and was always popular, respected and intelligent.”

“Harvard-educated, terrible, terrible career and they liked it for a long time. This is like a poll,” Trump told the crowd at a rally in North Carolina. The Washington Post References. “You know, when you’ve been on TV for 18 years, that’s like a poll. That means people like you.”

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