Politics Oprah Winfrey Weighs in on Dr. Oz's Republican Senate Campaign in Pennsylvania: 'It's Up to the Residents' "One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office," the talk show host says in a statement of her protégé's decision to run for office By Aaron Parsley Aaron Parsley Aaron Parsley has been a part of PEOPLE's digital team for more than 15 years. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 28, 2021 11:33 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Photo: Evan Agostini/AP Oprah has spoken — sort of. The iconic talk show host has made a comment about her protégé Dr. Mehmet Oz and his announcement in November that he's running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican in next year's midterm elections. "One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office," Winfrey, 67, told New York magazine in a statement from her spokeswoman, Nicole Nichols. "Mehmet Oz has made that decision. And now it's up to the residents of Pennsylvania to decide who will represent them." The comment certainly falls short of a political endorsement, but Winfrey has a history of supporting Oz, 61, whom she called "America's Doctor" when he was a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey produced 13 episodes of Second Opinion With Dr. Oz for the Discovery Health Channel in 2003 and later offered to produce The Dr. Oz Show, which debuted in 2009, through her company, Harpo Productions. Dr. Oz Announces Pennsylvania Senate Campaign Oz, who graduated from Harvard University and went on to earn medical and business degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, will end his show in January amid his senate bid. The Dr. Oz Show will be replaced by The Good Dish, a cooking show hosted by his daughter, Daphne Oz. Dr. Oz. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images "We are angry at our government and at each other," Oz wrote in November to announce his campaign announcement. "We have not managed our crises as effectively as past generations. During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That's why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal." Jeopardy! Fans Call for Boycott After Dr. Oz Begins Guest Hosting: 'Horrible Mistake' A cardiothoracic surgeon who is originally from Cleveland, Oz entered the 2022 race after Republican Sen. Pat Toomey announced he will not seek reelection for the seat he has held since 2011 and a leading Republican candidate, Sean Parnell, suspended his campaign after a losing a custody battle that revealed allegations of abuse by his estranged wife, which he denied. "I invented life-saving devices, trained young surgeons to save lives, and expected my days to be measured by countless people helped. But many patients came too late without appreciating their power to prevent chronic disease," Oz said in his announcement. "I started changing this reality by leaving the safety of my medical practice to become the health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and, ultimately, the host of my own TV program. My training positioned me to make difficult decisions to help people in need and fight to empower my viewers."