HARISBURG, Pennsylvania – The Republican primaries in Pennsylvania for an open seat in the US Senate are too close to appointment and will probably go to the list of votes across the state to determine the winner of the competition between the cardiac surgeon who became television celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former CEO Hedgehog McCormick.

The recount will mean that the results of the race can be known no earlier than June 8, the deadline by which counties must report their results to the state.

Oz, approved by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick, garnering 1,079 votes, or 0.08 percentage points, from 1,340,248 ballots counted as of 5 p.m. Friday. The race is close enough to trigger the Pennsylvania Automatic Voice Count Act with a division between candidates within 0.5% of the law. The Associated Press will not announce the winner of the race until the probable list of votes is completed.

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Both companies have hired lawyers from Washington to run the vote count, and both have hired campaign strategists from Philadelphia to help lead the vote-counting operation on Donald Trump’s 2020 election campaign.

The two campaigns combined already included hundreds of lawyers and volunteers who traveled across the state for the presidential battle while election workers and election commissions worked on the rest of the ballots.

McCormick’s main lawyer is Chuck Cooper, a veteran Washington lawyer and a lawyer for prominent conservatives. He represented the interests of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the investigation of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and former National Security Adviser John Bolton in a dispute over the publication of his book. He recently successfully defended a campaign to fund an election campaign on behalf of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Oza’s chief attorney for the vote is Megan Newton, who was attorney general for Jeb Bush’s failed 2016 presidential campaign and the National Republican Senate Committee, and represented Trump’s campaign and Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

The winner will meet with Democrat Lieutenant John Fetterman in the midterm elections in November, which Democrats consider their best chance to win a Senate seat.

Fetterman won the Democratic nomination while in hospital recovering from a stroke four days before the election. Incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is retiring after two terms.

Trump’s influence is back on his horse as he seeks his third consecutive victory in the Republican Senate primaries after Ohio’s Elegy author J. won in Ohio earlier this month. D. Vance, and U.S. Representative Ted Bud easily won in North Carolina on Tuesday.

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Constituency election commissions began a meeting Friday to deal with problematic or temporary ballots, even as election workers processed the latest ballots by mail and ballots on election day from polling stations.

The Federal Court of Appeals threw a wrench into the vote count on Friday when it ruled in an unrelated case that ballots without a statutory date on the return envelope could be counted. McCormick’s company saw this as a positive development, as McCormick led Oz in a postal vote.

“If every vote cast in this U.S. Senate election is finally counted, Dave McCormick will win,” his campaign said.

Oz’s company did not comment Friday night.

The state’s 67 counties have until Tuesday under state law to confirm their findings to the state. The top state election official is then required to issue a mandatory recount order by next Thursday if the losing candidate does not ask in writing not to run.

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McCormick’s company has said it has no plans to abandon the recount. Oza declined to comment.

The constituencies have until three weeks after the election – June 7 – to complete the list of votes and a day later to report the results to the state.

The initial result may change: a recount of the state court race last November increased the winner’s lead by more than 5,500 votes in a race where more than 2 million ballots were cast.

Prior to that, there could be a flurry of lawsuits challenging the decisions of some counties on whether to count ballots that may be difficult to read or have some irregularities.

So far no campaign has come to court, and both candidates have expressed confidence in victory.

A large number of Republican candidates and their superparts reported spending more than $ 70 million during the primary campaign.

Oz and McCormick dominated the republic with seven people, shutting down state television screens for months with political advertising and spending millions of their own money before conservative activist Katie Barnett broke out in the final days of the campaign.

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An ardent, solid alternative in support of Trump saw both Oz and McCormick as “globalists,” contenders in favor of Trump, carpet players, and too wealthy to help ordinary people. She took a distant third place.

Oz, best known as the host of the daytime TV show The Dr. Oz Show, had to overcome fears among Trump’s staunch supporters about his conservative powers. Opponents also accused his dual Turkish citizenship of jeopardizing his loyalty to the United States. If elected, Oz will become the country’s first Muslim senator.

McCormick was virtually unknown four months ago and emphasized his credentials as a success story of his hometown.

Not only has he had to overcome Trump’s support in Oz, but Trump has also angrily and repeatedly attacked McCormick in the last two weeks of the race, calling him a Wall Street liberal, a Chinese traitor and a candidate of “special interests and globalists” and the Washington establishment.

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McCormick received help from the super PAC, which supported him, which spent $ 20 million, which gave him a big cash advantage, most of which was paid by Wall Street figures who paid for TV commercials to attack Oz.

Both men reported assets of more than $ 100 million and moved from another state to manage – Oz from a mansion in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, over the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan, and McCormick from gorgeous Gold Coast Connecticut.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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Follow Mark Levy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/timelywriter.

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Follow the AP for full coverage of the midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

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