Oprah Endorses John Fetterman For Pennsylvania Senator Instead Of Her Former ‘Protege’ Dr. Oz & Fans Applaud

The media mogul said there were 'many reasons' she was vouching for Fetterman. Dr. Oz got his national start as a repeat guest on Oprah's show in the 2000s.

Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Mehmet Oz
Image Credit: Amanda Schwab/Starpix/Shutterstock

Dr. Mehmet Oz’s bid for the U.S. senate suffered another embarrassment this week when former TV mentor Oprah Winfrey announced her support for his opponent John Fetterman. The talk show great endorsed Fetterman along with several other key Democratic candidates while hosting a mid-term election-focused called “A Virtual Voting Conversation” on Nov. 3, 2022.

“If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman for many reasons,” Oprah told her online audience. (The star is a longtime California resident, residing in the ritzy coastal enclave of Montecito, not far from Santa Barbara, California.)

Oprah didn’t put a laser focus on the P.A. seat, telling the audience, “That is not the only race that matters.” Her other endorsements included Cheri Beasley of North Carolina, Val Demings of Florida, Wisconsin’s Mandela Barnes, Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto, Beto O’Rourke for Texas Governor, and Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams, for Georgia Senator and Governor, respectively.

Oprah Winfrey, Mehmet Oz
Oprah endorsed Democratic candidate John Fetterman for senate. He is running against Oprah’s former ‘protege’ Dr. Oz (here together in 2010) for the Pennsylvania seat. (Amanda Schwab/Starpix/Shutterstock)

Continuing to rile up voters, the longtime Democratic supporter explained the stakes of the 2022 midterms, which will take place next Tuesday, Nov. 8. “If we do not show up to vote, if we do not get fired up in this moment, the people who will be in power will begin making decisions for us,” she said. “Decisions about how we care for our bodies, how we care for our kids, what books your children can read, who gets protected by the police and who gets targeted.”

The endorsement must have stung for the Oz campaign. The TV doctor first stepped onto the national stage around 2003, appearing on Oprah’s show over 70 times through the years. He would later land his own syndicated show, The Dr. Oz Show, which was produced by Oprah’s own Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures Television. The show debuted in 2009 and wrapped its 13th and final season in Jan. 2022.

Pennsylvania’s senate race is one of the tightest competitions this cycle, with former lieutenant governor Fetterman edging out Republican newcomer Oz by mere points, according to polls from NBC News. Ratcheting up the stakes, the control of the entire U.S. Senate could be determined by who takes PA.

John Fetterman
The Penn. race is one of the tighest in the 2022 midterms. Fetterman is only points ahead of Oz, with days away from the race. (Matt Smith/Shutterstock)

Fetterman released a statement thanking Oprah for her endorsement shortly after. “It is an honor and privilege to have Oprah’s support in this race,” the candidate said in a statement, shared via the New York Times. “She is a leader on so many issues — fighting for our democracy, passing common-sense gun reform, and ensuring racial justice. I’m grateful for Oprah’s support and trust on the issues that matter to people across the country and Pennsylvania as we close out this campaign.” On Instagram, the campaign called the celeb’s support a “November surprise.”

Before this, Oprah was excruciatingly careful with her remarks on the race. Back in Dec. 2021, she offered an optimistic, but broad, take on Oz’s bid. “One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office,” the star. told New York magazine. “Mehmet Oz has made that decision. And now it’s up to the residents of Pennsylvania to decide who will represent them.”

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