CLEVELAND — After three years out of public office, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced Tuesday he wants back in launching his campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat opening up next year with the retirement of Senator Rob Portman.
“Watching this sham and unconstitutional impeachment has made my blood boil and motivated me to run for U.S. Senate,” Mandel’s statement read. “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.”
He continued “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.”
A two-term state treasurer Mandel challenged Senator Sherrod Brown for his senate seat in 2012. In 2016, he backed Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential primary but after Trump's victory, he became a staunch supporter and looked to mirror Trump's Ohio campaign strategy in a short-lived 2018 rematch with Brown before exiting the race for family reasons.
"He's going to paint himself as the ultimate Trump supporter,” said News 5 Political Analyst Dr. Tom Sutton of Baldwin Wallace University. “But he's got at least one other in the race who is going to be doing this and that's Jane Timken, the GOP chair for Ohio who has resigned that seat so that she can consider a run for the Senate seat."
If Timken enters the race and indications are she will, Sutton said it creates an interesting scenario if you have two or more hopefuls in the far right lane.
"Will there be a split of candidates all seeking the support of Trump supporters allowing perhaps another candidate like State Senator Matt Dolan or [Congressman] Steve Stivers maybe come out ahead as the more moderate Republican."
While Mandel starts off with an impressive $4.3 million war chest from past campaigns, the events of January 6t Sutton says could impact future fundraising.
"Clearly the establishment money from corporations, those kinds of PACs, etc pulled back after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, they've made it clear they're not going to support anyone who associates themselves with that kind of extremism,” Sutton said. “Which would then be a weakness for Josh Mandel in the fundraising department."