State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R), who appeared to have the inside track toward facing Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in what would be a re-match of their 2012 campaign (Brown: 51-45%), will now not run. On Friday, Mr. Mandel announced that he will not be filing as a Senate candidate, saying his wife has been recently diagnosed with a “health situation.” Now just a month from when the candidate filing period closes in Ohio (Feb 7), Republicans will be scrambling to find a strong nominee in what should be a competitive general election contest.
Investment banker Michael Gibbons has been in the race and was expected to battle Mandel for the nomination. He will remain a candidate. Both Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) confirm they are considering switching to the Senate race from the gubernatorial campaign. With Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted joining forces as a unified team for the Governor and Lt. Governor nominations, seeing either Taylor or Renacci make the move to what could be a winnable Senate race would not be surprising.
Much will happen here in the next month as Republicans sort out this change of direction. For now, the GOP losing its prospective nominee is certainly a boost for Sen. Brown’s re-election effort.
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