(Removes reference to race being next year)
By Moira Warburton and Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he is endorsing celebrity surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running as a Republican for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
“Dr. Oz is smart, tough, and will never let you down, therefore, he has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump said in a statement.
Oz, known for the syndicated “The Dr. Oz Show,” brings substantial name recognition to a wide-open Nov. 8, 2022, contest that could determine control of the Senate and the fate of Democratic President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Biden narrowly won Pennsylvania in the 2020 election but Republicans made gains in the state legislature. Many observers expect the race to be a toss-up following the retirement of Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
Toomey was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in February 2021 following Trump’s impeachment on a charge of incitement of insurrection. The Senate vote of 57-43 fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump.
(This story has been refiled to remove reference to race being next year)
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Moira Warburton; Editing by Nick Zieminski)