AP: Automatic Recount in Effect for GOP Senate Primary

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — AP is reporting… Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat is too close to call and is likely headed for a statewide recount to decide the winner of the contest between heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick. A recount would mean that the outcome of the race might not be known until June 8, the deadline for counties to report their results to the state. Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick by 1,079 votes, or 0.08 percentage points, out of 1,340,248 ballots counted as of 5 p.m. Friday.

The race is close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, with the separation between the candidates inside the law’s 0.5% margin. The Associated Press will not declare a winner in the race until the likely recount is complete. Both campaigns have hired Washington-based lawyers to lead their recount efforts, and both have hired Philadelphia-based campaign strategists who helped lead the operation to observe vote-counting on Election Day for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2020. The two campaigns combined already had hundreds of lawyers and volunteers fanned out around the presidential battleground state as election workers and election boards toiled through the remaining ballots. McCormick’s lead recount lawyer is Chuck Cooper, a veteran Washington lawyer and a go-to attorney for prominent conservative figures.

He represented then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and former national security adviser John Bolton in a dispute over the publication of his book. He recently successfully argued a campaign finance case on behalf of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz before the U.S. Supreme Court. Oz’s lead recount lawyer is Megan Newton, who was general counsel for Jeb Bush’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and has represented Trump’s campaign and Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. The winner will face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in November’s midterm elections in what Democrats see as their best opportunity to pick up a seat in the closely divided Senate.

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