WASHINGTON (JTA) — Citing his wife’s health, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has dropped his bid to challenge U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in November.
“We recently learned that my wife has a health issue that will require my time, attention and presence,” Mandel, a Republican, said in a release. “In other words, I need to be there. Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign.”
Mandel, a Jewish Marines Corps veteran, was making his second try at unseating Brown, a Democrat. He lost soundly to Brown in 2012.
Mandel had been a conventional small-government, foreign policy interventionist Republican and kept his distance from Donald Trump during his presidential campaign in 2016. Once Trump won, however, he began to emphasize his support of many Trump positions on immigration restrictions and suspicion of Muslims.
Mandel accepted the endorsement of Mike Cernovich and Jack Prosobiec, figures of the “alt-lite,” the sobriquet for those who reject the anti-Semitism and overt racism sometimes prevalent on the “alt-right” but nonetheless embrace hypernationalism. Mandel faulted the Anti-Defamation League for including them in a report on extremist figures.
Cernovich and Prosobiec helped peddle false theories that leading Democrats and a Washington, D.C., restaurateur were running a child exploitation ring. Those rumors led to a shooting attack on the restaurant that did not result in any casualties.