Dr. Oz's wife's Cumberland estate becomes Senate campaign fodder in Pennsylvania

Aug. 22—The Republican nominee to fill Pennsylvania's open senate seat, Dr. Mehmet Oz, is taking fire from his opponent for not knowing the number of homes his family owns, including his wife's family's $3.9 million oceanfront family compound in Cumberland.

Oz, a Trump-endorsed celebrity doctor and former host of the "Dr. Oz show," has been coming to Maine for decades with his wife, Lisa Lemole Oz, an author and television personality whose grandfather, Carl Asplundh, founded the Pennsylvania-based tree service behemoth Asplundh Tree Experts with his brothers in 1928. With $4.7 billion in annual revenues, it is the 98th largest private company in the U.S. and co-owned by some 200 family members, including Lisa Oz.

Their 24-acre Cumberland Foreside estate, which Lisa co-owns with her siblings, was last week featured in a campaign ad by Oz's Democratic Senate rival, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, alongside other properties owned by Oz himself. The ad, pivoting off the game show Family Feud, asks "How Many Homes Do You Own" and takes Oz to task for not providing the right answer.

Oz was recently asked if he knew how many homes he owned and he said he "legitimately, I own two houses." Property records show Oz actually owns at least ten residential properties, including a 34-acre, $3.1 million farm in Pennsylvania, two Manhattan condos, mansions in New Jersey and Palm Beach, and three buildings in Turkey, where he also holds citizenship.

The list does not include the Maine estate, which was purchased by Lisa Oz's parents in 1992 and later transferred to their children. But Fetterman's ad featured it alongside other properties owned by Dr. Oz himself.

Oz has responded by noting he purchased his houses with his own money, a dig at Fetterman, whose parents supported him financially until he became lieutenant governor in 2019.

"You lived off your parents until you were almost 50," Oz tweeted. "Regular people don't mooch off their parents when they're 50. Get off the couch John!"

The U.S. Senate is currently divided evenly, 50 to 50, but is controlled by the Democrats because the Vice President, Kamala Harris, also serves as president of the Senate and can vote to break ties. For this reason, every competitive race is being watched closely because it could determine which party controls the chamber for the next two years, including the power to approve federal judges, pass legislation, and hold investigative hearings.

Oz and his wife have come to the Maine property regularly. Their daughter, Daphne, was married at the compound in 2010 and Lisa's sister, Laura Lemole, married Delaware Gov. Pierre du Pont's son Benjamin at the house in 2001.

In a 2010 interview with Portland Monthly, Oz said they visit his in-laws at the property "several times during the summer and generally spend the winter holidays with them in Maine" before ticking off his favorite local haunts, including the Portland restaurant Street and Co., lobsters at the Falmouth Foreside landing, shopping in Freeport, and golf at the Portland Country Club.

He said his in-laws had introduced him to Dr. Christiane Northrup twenty years earlier and that they had been friends since. Northrup, a now-retired Yarmouth obstetrician, later emerged as one of the nation's most prominent purveyors of COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods and conspiracy theories.

"The people and beauty of Maine have offered many insights and helped shape my personality," he told Portland Monthly. "Maine taught me there's a world out there that's more peaceful, more sensible in pace, and more dependent on seasonal changes. I'm a better person because I've been blessed with time in Maine."