WASHINGTON (JTA) — Josh Mandel, Ohio’s state treasurer, launched his second campaign for the U.S. Senate noting his Jewish grandparents and using Donald Trump-style rhetoric.
Mandel, a Marines veteran who served in Iraq, announced his bid this week with a 2-minute YouTube video that starts by noting that one grandparent served in the U.S. military during World War II and two others survived the Holocaust.
“I’m here today because they all won their fights,” he said.
Mandel, a Republican, lost his first bid to unseat the incumbent Democrat, Sherrod Brown, in 2012, but was encouraged by 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 re-election 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 from Rep. Pat Tiberi, who is closer to the state’s popular governor, John Kasich, and refused to endorse Trump.