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Mandel targets Sen. Brown

The Vindicator – Josh Mandel, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, has a lot going for him.

He’s got a great personal story. A former Marine who served two tours of active duty in Iraq, Mandel moved into politics and, like Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, jumped from serving on city council in a suburban community to a short stint in the Ohio Legislature to winning statewide office.

The ambitious Mandel started raising money for his Senate campaign about five minutes after his four-year term as state treasurer began in January 2011. And he’s really, really good at raising money.

He’s also the darling of conservatives though it’s somewhat of a mystery as to why. He has such a small political track record. He never sponsored a bill approved by the Ohio House while serving there. But Republicans definitely like what he has to say as he travels across the country speaking to supporters who shower him with money.

As for being treasurer, Mandel touts the office’s success even though it’s obvious he’s spent a lot more time focusing on running for Senate than running the treasurer’s office.

Mandel is running against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a likeable, intelligent and long-time elected Democrat, whose liberal voting record didn’t stop him from soundly defeating then-U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, a Republican who is now attorney general, in the 2006 Democratic tsunami.

During his five-plus years in the Senate, Brown hasn’t changed his politics. But he also remains passionately concerned about Ohio, voting for legislation he says helps the state’s manufacturing base, such as the auto bailout and against free-trade agreements.

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