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A new 30-second television ad released by a political committee supporting Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz blasts his Democrat opponent, John Fetterman, over a 2013 incident when he pulled a gun on a Black jogger he mistakenly suspected of a crime.
The ad, titled “Chase,” was released by American Leadership Action and says Fetterman, then mayor of Braddock, “chased down an innocent, unarmed Black man.” The ad then jumps to an interview with the jogger, Cristopher Miyares, where he describes Fetterman pulling a gun and aiming it at his chest.
“I mean, there’s a mayor with a shotgun and six other cops surrounding me. What else could I do but this?” the jogger says in the ad as he puts his hands up in surrender.
Fetterman then says in an interview he believes he did “the right thing” while saying he probably broke the law in doing so.
The ad closes by calling Fetterman “reckless, risky” and “wrong for Pennsylvania.”
“We know John Fetterman hates to answer tough questions and refuses to debate. He needs to answer for what he did and he should finally apologize for it,” Brittany Yanick, Communications Director for the Oz Campaign, told Fox News Digital via an email statement.
The pro-Oz ad initially aired on Tuesday as part of a $500,000 ad campaign, and will be aired on networks with high Black viewership, including the Oprah Winfrey Network, MSNBC and ESPN. NBC first reported the ad.
Fetterman has defended his actions in the 2013 incident, claiming he had heard gunfire and then saw a man running away. He said he began to chase the man down with his gun, eventually catching up and detaining him until police arrived.
Fetterman has acknowledged the incident was a mistake since it took place nine years ago, and he spoke about the incident early on in his campaign in 2021 in a video.
Miyares is currently in a state prison in Somerset County for an unrelated crime and says Fetterman has “lied about everything” that happened that day, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Miyares was clear in his support for Fetterman’s Senate bid, writing “I hope he gets to be a Senator.”
“Even with everything I said, it is inhumane to believe one mistake should define a man’s life,” Miyares wrote to the Inquirer.
The ad comes on the heels of a recent editorial released by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where the paper’s editorial board questions Fetterman’s ability to serve in the Senate given his inability to debate Oz after suffering a stroke in May.
The Oz campaign has taken aim at Fetterman’s health after he backed out of a scheduled debate ahead of the November election. Oz has said Fetterman does not want to reveal his “radical views” via a debate, though Fetterman’s campaign says Oz is attacking him for his stroke recovery.
Fetterman was leading Oz in the polls 43% to 40% as of Aug. 25 in a Franklin & Marshall College poll, and an Emerson College poll recently showed Fetterman with a 4-point lead over Oz.