HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Two conversations back-to-back. Republican candidate Mehmet Oz and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who are running for different offices, shared the same stage at different times during the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry’s annual dinner on Monday, Oct. 3.
“You have a lot of business owners today who are looking at the stage trying to understand what each of the candidates will be better in terms of growing the economy, helping to grow job creation and helping spur innovation in this business climate that will promote innovation,” said Luke Bernstein, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce.
The annual dinner is typically a popular event with the politically connected. However, Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman, who did not agree to the debate conditions, were not in attendance. Former governor Tom Corbett says it’s unfortunate candidates aren’t making it happen.
“I think this is a good opportunity for the people who are here and for those that are watching on tv at home to see the candidates discuss the issues and they are not getting that opportunity. It is a lost opportunity and for those that do not want to do those debates, that’s a mistake,” said Tom Corbett, former PA governor.
Oz made the opioid epidemic a big sticking point when he spoke.
“I was talking to a pastor who said the tragedy here is that they go to the street corner right next door to our parish and buy fentanyl and it is easier to find than baby formula,” said Mehmet Oz. “This is the kind of crisis we have. It is being ignored.”
Oz vowed to work with Senator Bob Casey on Pennsylvania’s infrastructure as well as collaborating on a gay marriage bill if he wins the Pennsylvania Senate race on November 8.
Josh Shapiro spoke about his current gubernatorial race against Mastriano as well.
“My opponent is by far the most extreme and dangerous ever to run for Governor of Pennsylvania,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Sgapiro also advoacted for a stronger police force, “cutting the red tape” on limited business regulations, and working across the aisle.
“We need to show we are open for business again by helping businesses that are here and recruiting new ones to come to Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.
Thousands of people were in attendance at the dinner, which was hosted at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania.