COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Star reported last week on the strong possibility of a Josh Mandel run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Rob Portman.
Wednesday morning the former two-time Ohio Treasure confirmed – he’s in.
Today I’m excited to announce that I’m running for U.S. Senate in Ohio.
Watching this sham impeachment has made my blood boil and motivated me to run.
I’m going to Washington to fight for President Trump’s America First Agenda. https://t.co/9MTG41r95g
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) February 10, 2021
Mandel wants to be in the nation’s capital to extend President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda and made no bones about his disdain for the second impeachment of Trump in a statement he released:
Watching this sham and unconstitutional impeachment has made my blood boil and motivated me to run for U.S. Senate. It’s sickening to see radical liberals and fake Republicans in Washington engage in this second assault on President Donald Trump and the millions of us who supported him.
I’m going to Washington to fight for President Trump’s America First Agenda and to pulverize the Uniparty – that cabal of Democrats and Republicans who sound the same, stand for nothing and are more interested in cocktail party invites than defending the Constitution.
For four years, President Trump fought tooth and nail to advance a conservative ideology and improve the lives of Ohioans. My candidacy is about standing up for working people, economic freedom and individual liberty. I will wake up everyday scratching and clawing to stop Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi from their assault on American values.
The full Wednesday morning announcement can be viewed here. The statement marks the start of a third attempt for Mandel to become an Ohio senator – the first try was in 2012, the second in 2018.
If Mandel wins he’d be a junior senator to his 2012 opponent U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) whose third term in the upper chamber will end January 2025. In 2012, Mandel lost by six points, his campaign receiving $25.2 million in contributions to Brown’s $25.9M.
The former Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. was set to again battle Brown in the 2018 Senate contest, however, Mandel dropped out before the May primary citing health issues with his then-wife Ilana.
The couple divorced in June 2020 but did not file their paperwork in Cuyahoga County, instead in Ashland County (about an hour south) where their divorce records are under seal.
An attorney told The Star that the change in venue is “rare but it’s not unprecedented,” and that “there is nothing wrong with that and as long as both parties consent a case can be filed with any county in the state.”
The lawyer added, “[B]ecause divorce records are public files, high profile people and people with certain financial situations will ask that the case be sealed for certain discoveries and disclosure of that information.”
Mandel and his ex-wife fit that description. He was first elected to Lyndhurst City Council in 2003 and served in the Ohio House before his stint as Ohio Treasurer. Ilana Shafran Mandel is from a wealthy, politically connected family in northeast Ohio.
Mandel will likely face a formidable fundraiser in Jane Timken. The former Chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party has not yet announced her candidacy but last week she hired two seasoned campaign workers from Rob Portman’s 2016 team.
On the Democratic side of the ticket are prospects Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), who received attention from Hillary Clinton as a possible candidate, and former Director of the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton.
An investment banker and an attorney, Gibbons was a Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018 who has hinted on Facebook that he may enter the race. He disclosed he would commit $5 million of his own money toward his likely campaign.
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Jack Windsor is Statehouse Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Josh Mandel” by PUBLICPOLICYSTUDY. CC BY 2.0.