Former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel on Wednesday became the first Republican to jump into the state’s open Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman.
Mandel, a 43-year-old Marine veteran, is making his third run for Senate after losing the 2012 race to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and a 2018 campaign that he cut short because of family health concerns. He enters the race with statewide experience and more than $4 million left over in his federal campaign account.
In a statement, Mandel said his announcement was motivated by the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and said he planned to run to “fight for President Trump’s America First Agenda.”
“Watching this sham and unconstitutional impeachment has made my blood boil and motivated me to run for U.S. Senate,” Mandel said. “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.”
Trump carried Ohio last fall by 8 percentage points.
The GOP primary to replace Portman is likely to be a crowded and expensive race. Jane Timken, the former chair of the state GOP, stepped down from that post last week in anticipation of a run and hired several of Portman’s former campaign aides. Rep. Steve Stivers, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan are all potential candidates, and others are considering bids as well.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Tim Ryan has told people he plans to run. Amy Acton, the former head of the state health department, Rep. Joyce Beatty, state Rep. Emilia Sykes, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce are considering bids, as well.