Cranberry Eagle – July 07, 2022
FRANKLIN TWP — Dr. Mehmet Oz traveled the gravel paths of the Big Butler Fairgrounds by golf cart to meet potential voters Thursday.
Oz, a Republican, is running against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Toomey, also a Republican.
As the tour proceeded, Oz readily hopped out of the golf cart to share words, handshakes and a big smile with the fair’s attendees.
“It’s really thrilling,” said Barbara Rader, of Franklin Township. “He’s our man.”
Rader said she believes Oz is honest and true to his words. Having lived on a farm for many years, she appreciated that he was taking time to meet and greet people who live and breathe agriculture.
“My husband is going to be jealous I got to meet you,“ Rader said as she smiled wide for a photograph with Oz.
Oz also made some time for the animals, spending time with a horse named No More Sweets and its owner, Steve Schoeffel, of Evans City.
Schoeffel told Oz that he voted for him in the primary election.
“It was pretty cool,” Schoeffel said. “He seems pretty truthful.”
Schoeffel, who raises racehorses, said he feels the state’s government has negatively affected his industry, taking money and moving it elsewhere. He said he feels Oz may be the change needed that will sustain the horseracing industry and the farmers and others who rely on it.
“It affects everybody,” Schoeffel said.
Butler County officials also joined the tour, including Sheriff Michael Slupe and commissioners Leslie Osche and Kim Geyer, both Republicans.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet with him and talk about the issues important to Butler County residents,” Geyer said.
Osche agreed and said she and Geyer mentioned not only agriculture but also manufacturing as being important staples of the county’s economy.
“I think it’s absolutely important that these candidates running for offices come to our fairs and meet our people,” she said.
Many people stopped to shake Oz’s hand or take a photo with him, including Moises Vivas, who originally is from Venezuela, lives in Florida and has been working in the Butler County area.
Though not able to vote for Oz, Vivas said he was excited to have the opportunity to meet the celebrity, and his family would be excited to see he was photographed with him.
“I’ve seen him on TV shows a lot,” Vivas said.
While a majority of people stopped to show support for Oz, the Big Butler Fair draws tens of thousands of people to its gates every year, and there were a few whose opinions did not align with Oz’s.
Dave Roberts, a former commander of the Disabled American Veterans of Butler, said he appreciated meeting Oz, though they do not align on an issue of great importance to him.
“It’s nice he stopped by, but I told him I don’t agree with his stance on women’s rights over their bodies,” Roberts said.
While some may have disagreed with Oz on the issues, he had plenty of support from others, especially by the Butler County Republicans’ tent.
Nicole Richards, of Slippery Rock, who was wearing a shirt for Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor, said she likes Oz for his stance on abortion.
“As a Christian, I’m pro-life,” Richards said. “He’s pro-life in a way I can get behind.”
Richards said former President Donald Trump’s endorsement also was a big factor for her. Trump endorsed Oz in April and announced his endorsement for Mastriano in May. Mastriano is running against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat.
“I think Trump does a good job endorsing candidates,” Richards said.