ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — U.S. Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz joined several Central Pennsylvania Republicans running for reelection at the 5th annual Red Rally breakfast Saturday morning at The Casino at Lakemont for final campaign stretches.
Oz spoke alongside U.S. Rep. John Joyce (R-13), State Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) and State Congressmen Lou Schmitt (R-79) and Jim Gregory (R-80) in front of supporters and family members.
“I’m the candidate for change,” Oz said. “All of us are, everyone you’ve heard from.”
Oz focused on three topics that he called “kitchen-table” issues — the economy, crime and the border.
He said his opponent, Democratic candidate John Fetterman, supports tax raises and policies that will cause more inflation. Fetterman said he supports fracking during his debate against Oz, but Oz said on Saturday his opponent is being untruthful with conflicting statements.
“It’s the programs that will hurt Americans and Pennsylvanians that concerns me the most,” Oz said. “All the while [Fetterman is] taking a strong stance against taking the energy under our feet and unleashing it.”
Oz said crime isn’t as big of an issue in Central Pennsylvania, but that “it’s coming.” He said he opposes drug injection sites, which he said Fetterman wants to implement in Pennsylvania, including legalizing recreational use of drugs.
“I’ve visited places where these sites are supposed to be, and I talked to the people who’ve beaten them back,” he said, “because they bring crime into neighborhoods. That’s why no one wants them.”
He brought up Oregon legalizing all recreational drugs and said drug overdose deaths have increased 40% and homicide deaths 50% since the legalization.
“When you prevent police from doing their jobs,” he said, “you’ve got a problem. Because they can no longer take drugs out of people’s pockets. So you actually create a lawlessness.”
Oz finished by discussing issues at the border. He said he wants to close it while also allowing for legal immigration.
“We’ve got cartels functioning like terrorist organizations that have opened the border,” he said. “They’re not just bringing human trafficking problems, but also fentanyl problems.”
A recent Monmouth University poll shows 39% of voters will definitely vote for Fetterman, while 32% will definitely vote for Oz. However, for voters who still may be undecided, 12% will probably vote Oz to 9% for Fetterman.