Oz gets key endorsement from national trade organization for ‘pro-growth’ views


When it comes to who should be Pennsylvania’s voice in the US Senate for the next six years, the world’s largest business organization picked Republican nominee Mehmet Oz.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday that it is endorsing Oz in the hotly contested race against Democrat John Fetterman for the open Senate seat vacated by Republican Pat Toomey.

Gathered inside a building at the Harrisburg-area headquarters of Stephenson Equipment, a heavy equipment dealer, Ashlee Rich Stephenson said the positions of “unwavering leadership and pro-growth and pro-business” of ‘Oz are what the state needs in its next senator. Stephenson is the senior policy adviser to the right-wing US Chamber.

“Dr. Oz is committed to delivering free enterprise solutions that will help the Commonwealth and the nation recover from the pandemic,” Stephenson said.

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Oz, in accepting the endorsement, pledged to fight “hard for the innovation that I know will allow this country to thrive”.

Gene Barr, former CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry and now an adviser, also attended but was not there to announce an endorsement. He said the state chamber does not approve of federal races, but for its members “there are a lot of issues that matter in this race here and they want us to inform them of those issues, which is why we We are here happy to stand with us from the chambers in support of Dr. Oz.

During the 22-minute event, Oz pitted his views against those of his opponent on a variety of issues, criticizing Fetterman for promoting big government, high taxes, and being out of touch with Pennsylvanians’ values.

He also touted how having a senator with a background in medicine and science could “affect innovation and ensure we make the right decisions at the right time to protect as many Americans as possible.”

Oz threw on his doctor’s hat halfway through to talk about the effects the high rate of inflation and higher household bills are having on people’s health and the worsening ills of the community.

“There’s a lot to raise your blood pressure, and economic issues are the first to lead to heart disease and a whole host of other chronic diseases that we’re starting to create,” he said. “But it doesn’t just stop at the economy.”

He said it was leading young people to turn to drugs and high homicide rates due to a lack of confidence that the country was heading in the right direction.

Oz said he believes the nation can turn the tide by budgeting in a way that distributes money to those in need “and allow innovation and creativity to drive our nation’s future growth, which that the Chamber of Commerce advocates and enables businesses like this to continue to thrive.

The US House approval is the second Oz received on Wednesday. He, along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, also received endorsements from the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses over the summer endorsed Oz in the Senate race. NFIB Pennsylvania director Greg Moreland said his support stems from Oz’s own experience in starting multiple businesses and a deep understanding of the issues facing small businesses, including labor shortages. labor, excessive taxes and regulations, and inflation.

While Oz can claim the endorsement of business owners and others represented by the NFIB and the chamber, Fetterman last week won support from the building trades for his stated belief that “the union way of life is sacred”.

The Pennsylvania State Building & Construction Trades Council, which represents 196,000 workers and includes more than 115 locals from 15 international building trades unions, spoke of Fetterman’s support for organized labor, including marching picket lines, participating in rallies with striking workers and donating to the union strike. funds.

In a statement endorsing Fetterman, Rob Bair, Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades President, said, “John’s tireless dedication to the building trades and union workers allows our members to enjoy a middle-class life and to have health care and retirement benefits. .”

Libertarian Erik Gerhardt, Green Party candidate Richard Weiss and Keystone Party candidate Daniel Wassmer are also up for votes in the US Senate race.

Jan Murphy can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

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