The race for the Republican nomination in the Ohio Senate race is virtually over. Pro-life State Treasurer Josh Mandel now possesses a clear path to the GOP nod and a fighting chance at unseating pro-abortion Senator Sherrod Brown (D) in the general election
Former Ohio State Senator Kevin Coughlin, Mandel’s only major competitor, has dropped out of the race. According to a Federal Election Commission (FEC) report, Coughlin terminated his campaign on October 14th.
Armed with the endorsements of influential conservative leaders and organizations like Senator Jim DeMint, Club for Growth, Mark Levin and Erick Erickson of RedState, Mandel has proven himself a fundraising powerhouse. In fact, Mandel’s totals surpassed those of his incumbent Democratic opponent during the last fundraising quarter. Thus far in the campaign, Mandel has raised $3.5 million. Currently, Mandel has $3.25 million on hand, $1.5 million coming in during the last quarter. Sherrod Brown has $4.2 million on hand, raising $1.25 million last quarter.
Treasurer Mandel, who just took office in January 2011, is just 33 years old. Previously an Ohio State Representative, Mandel was the youngest Republican serving in the House. An Iraq War veteran and the grandson of Jewish Holocaust survivors, Mandel brings a fascinating personal story to the Ohio Senate race. But in addition to these attributes, Mandel brings a solid pro-life position to the race. Mandel received the endorsement of Ohio Right to Life PAC in his runs for State House and for Treasurer.
During his stint in the House, Mandel championed numerous pieces of life-saving legislation. He co-sponsored H.B. 280, the Protecting Pregnant Women from Coercion and Violence Act to increase penalties for domestic violence when the offender knew the victim was pregnant and to require abortion facilities to post a “No One Can Force You to Have an Abortion” notice.
Mandel also co-sponsored H.B. 314, the Ultrasound Viewing Option Bill and H.B. 102, a bill to promote umbilical cord blood donation as an ethical source of stem cells.
Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland whose own record is abysmal at best, took aim at Mandel’s pro-life position earlier this year. Strickland told Politico, “Josh Mandel used to be pro-choice, now he’s anti-choice.” When pressed on his claim, Strickland responded, “I’m just going to have to be straight with you, I can’t give you a document or recording that supports what I said.” Nonpartisan fact-checking organization Politifact called Strickland out for his false assertion that Mandel had flip-flopped on abortion.
A Mandel campaign spokesman reaffirmed Mandel’s pro-life stance saying, “Josh has always been solidly pro-life and believes all innocent human life should be protected.”
Sherrod Brown’s position on abortion has never been in question. He consistently opposes protective laws for unborn children. Brown opposes restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion and even voted against the ban on the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion. Brown voted in favor of Obamacare, which constitutes the largest expansion of abortion since Roe vs. Wade. Earlier this year, Brown stood with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, to maintain their federal funding.
The Buckeye State provided Republicans with monumental gains in 2010, ousting a pro-abortion Democratic governor, electing a new pro-life US senator, flipping several Congressional seats and entrusting them with control of state government. With the state looking less and less blue and his poll numbers in the dumps, President Obama may have a difficult time carrying Ohio next year. With poll numbers showing Mandel closing in on Brown and fundraising momentum behind Mandel, Brown could go down with Obama’s sinking ship.