Dr. Oz receives first congressional endorsement

Celebrity physician and host of "The Dr. Oz Show" Mehmet Oz has received what appears to be his first congressional endorsement for his Senate bid in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), who assumed office in 2019, said in a statement to The Hill that he was supporting the celebrity physician's run for the Pennsylvania Senate seat.

"Dr. Oz will win this seat in November and I'm excited to support his campaign. It's clear - Western Pennsylvanians need his conservative voice in the senate to protect our energy industry from President Biden's attacks," Reschenthaler said.

"We also need Dr. Oz's experience and commonsense to defend our freedoms from misguided bureaucrats and petty tyrant politicians who use Covid-19 to restrict our way of life," he added.

The news of the endorsement was first reported by The New York Post

Reschenthaler told the Post that Oz, a political first-timer, could be a competitive candidate for Republicans given his medical background and strong name recognition.

Speaking to the news outlet, the GOP lawmaker compared Oz's celebrity status to that of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, who enjoyed the limelight in film and reality TV before getting into politics.

Oz tweeted his thanks in response to news of the endorsement. 

The news comes after Oz on Tuesday formally announced that he would be running in Pennsylvania's Senate race.

"I'm running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania because America needs a Conservative Republican to cure what's wrong with Washington. I'm a world-class surgeon, fighter, and health care advocate stepping forward to cure our country's ills," the celebrity physician said in a tweet along with a video announcement.

The race to succeed Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is retiring, will be closely watched, with the Cook Political Report rating the race a "toss-up."

Republicans are especially eager to retain their seat after Sean Parnell, who received Trump's endorsement, suspended his campaign following developments in a child custody battle and allegations of spousal abuse. 

Updated Dec. 3 at 4:31 p.m.