(The Center Square) — June 8 could be the time the winner is officially known in a Pennsylvania Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by the retiring Pat Toomey.

On Friday, the lead established by Dr. Mehmet Oz over David McCormick from Election Day was cut in half to just more than 1,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast. A difference of 0.5 percent or less triggers an automatic recount, per state law.

Both candidates are adding recount specialists to their campaign staffs. Lawyers and strategists are also getting onboard.

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Neither Oz, the renowned TV celebrity heart surgeon, or McCormick, a former hedge fund manager, have taken shots at the election system. Both have been mostly quiet.

One of the reasons for the delayed outcome is Pennsylvania law that prevents counting mailed ballots before Election Day. At midday Friday, about 28,000 mail-in and absentee ballots remained to be counted, according to the Department of State that oversees elections.

Turnout has exceeded 38 percent, highest in two decades for a midterm primary. More than $70 million has been spent by campaigns.

June 8 could be the time the winner is officially known in a Pennsylvania Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by the retiring Pat Toomey.

The winner of the primary will face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who easily won Tuesday’s Democratic primary. He suffered a stroke just days before, but doctors expect a full recovery; he’s had a pacemaker procedure to help his condition.

Alan Wooten has been a publisher, general manager and editor. His work has won national or state awards in every decade since the 1980s. He’s a proud graduate of Elon University and Farmville Central High in North Carolina.

This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.

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