With crime rising on Philadelphia streets and as a political issue, Dr. Mehmet Oz embraced the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association’s (PSTA) endorsement Wednesday.
Oz, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, is in a tough battle with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. Republicans have identified crime as a potential vulnerability for the Democrat. The troopers gave Oz their wholehearted support.
“The PSTA is proud to endorse Dr. Mehmet Oz for U.S. Senate,” said the group’s president David Kennedy. “Dr. Oz has shown that he is, and will continue to be, a strong champion for law enforcement officers and their families in Pennsylvania. At a time when the law enforcement community is facing its greatest challenges, we need people who will advocate for the tools and resources that will keep the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police safe as they serve our commonwealth.”
The PSTA represents 4,440 state police officers.
“I am honored by this endorsement, and in the U.S. Senate I will continue to advocate for policies that meet these ends and build the relationships we need to forge ahead as one Pennsylvania with our common goals for peace, security, and justice for all,” Oz said in response. “Through their selfless actions, Troopers help us in our times of greatest need and they risk their own lives to make our streets safer. We owe these brave men and women, as well as their families, our deepest gratitude and our enduring commitment to work together with law enforcement to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to uphold the law and save lives.”
Oz was previously endorsed by the state Fraternal Order of Police and the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, burnishing his credentials on the crime issue. At the same time, he has hammered Fetterman for his role in pushing for pardons, including those charged with second-degree murder, as chairman of the state Board of Pardons. Fetterman has said one-third of the prisoners now held in Pennsylvania’s prisons could be released without harming public safety.
According to The New York Times, “under Fetterman’s leadership [on the Board of Pardons], the number of inmates serving life sentences who were recommended for clemency and release has greatly increased.” That included Lee and Dennis Horton, convicted in a robbery and fatal shooting in Philadelphia. Once Fetterman’s board released them, he gave them jobs as field organizers for his campaign.
“If John Fetterman cared about Pennsylvania’s crime problem, he’d prove it by firing the convicted murderers he employs on his campaign,” Oz spokeswoman Brittany Yanick said.
On Wednesday, Oz also received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement.
“Oz is a proven leader and will work tirelessly to address the challenges facing job creators, the workforce, and families in Pennsylvania,” said Ashlee Rich Stephenson with the Chamber. “There is no greater divergence on issues than in this election here in the Keystone State. Fetterman would raise taxes, has flip-flopped on his energy position, and would ruthlessly work to drop the filibuster.
“Dr. Oz, on the other hand, will support and defend Pennsylvanians by not raising taxes a single dime, advancing America’s energy independence, and standing in defense of the filibuster to be sure bipartisanship remains in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Chamber is proud to endorse pro-business champion, Dr. Oz, in his campaign for U.S. Senate, and we look forward to working with him in the next Congress,” Stephenson said.