WASHINGTON (JTA) — Josh Mandel, Ohio’s state treasurer, is mounting another campaign to unseat Sen. Sherrod Brown, the incumbent Democrat.
Mandel, a Marines veteran who served in Iraq, announced his bid this week with a 2-minute YouTube video that starts by noting that of his grandparents, one served in the U.S. military during World War II and two survived the Holocaust.
“I’m here today because they all won their fights,” he said.
Mandel lost his last bid to unseat Brown in 2012, but he’s encouraged by Donald Trump’s substantial win in the state in the presidential election and has shifted his campaign rhetoric to more closely reflect Trump’s. Additionally, Democrats have lower turnout in non-presidential election years; Brown is up for reelection in 2018.
In the video, he said, “I will never succumb to political correctness,” and complained about a “rigged system” in which “the politicians and their cronies get rich while the middle class suffers,” all themes advanced forcefully by Trump during the election.
Mandel avoided endorsing Trump until late in the campaign and initially had favored Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, chairing his state campaign during the primaries. Rubio returned the favor by immediately endorsing Mandel’s bid for Senate, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Mandel faces competition in the primary by Rep. Pat Tiberi, who is closer to the state’s popular Gov. John Kasich, and who refused to endorse Trump.