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Economy is ‘No. 1 priority’ for Josh Mandel

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

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With the upcoming November election, Republican Ohio Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel has been campaigning to convince Ohio voters he should represent the Buckeye state over incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Though Mandel’s term as state treasurer does not end until 2015, the Republican had announced his bid to run for Senate in early March. Mandel did not respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment.
During his sophomore year at Ohio State, Mandel was elected Undergraduate Student Government president.
“It’s very rare to be elected as sophomores,” said Taylor Stepp, current USG president. Stepp said Mandel “represents all viewpoints of Ohio State” and is impartial to both campaigns.
Mandel was re-elected for a second term as USG president in 1999, another rare accomplishment, Stepp said.
After graduating in 2000, Mandel joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he actively served until 2008. During that time, Mandel spent two tours in Anbar Province, Iraq, as an intelligence specialist.  
He attended Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland, where he received his law degree in 2003. In that same year, Mandel was elected to the city council for Lyndhurst, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb, where he served for two years.
While Brown was running for Senate in 2006, Mandel took his career to the state level where he ran for the 17th District of the Ohio House of Representatives, in Northeast Ohio. Mandel served as state representative and was re-elected for a second term in 2008.
Two years later, Mandel ran for State Treasurer of Ohio, defeating incumbent Kevin Boyce with 54.8 percent of the vote.
Drew Stroemple, president of the OSU College Republicans, said Mandel would be a stark contrast to Brown.
“He has a strong conservative record,” he said. “We need a senator from Ohio that takes the lead on issues.”
If elected, Considine said Mandel is committed to solving the nation’s economic problems.
“Improving the economy is his No. 1 priority,” said Travis Considine, a spokesman for Mandel’s campaign.
While Mandel would work with lawmakers to drive job growth, he would also work to reduce the deficit, Considine said, an Mandel would support a balanced budget amendment.
“The national debt is one of our country’s greatest threats,” Considine said.
Health care is another important topic in the upcoming election. While Brown voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Mandel would fully repeal the law, Considine said.
“He would go back to the drawing board and work toward meaningful reform with bipartisan support,” he said.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been unpopular with some Ohio voters, based on the passage of Issue 3 in 2011, Stroemple said.
Issue 3 was the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment that was designed “to preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health care coverage,” according to the amendment’s proposal.
However, Mandel supports the provision to allow young adults to stay on their parents insurance and also supports preventing those with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage, Considine said.
“He is (also) a strong advocate for health savings accounts,” he said.
Yet Michael Flannagan, the communications director for OSU College Democrats said, Mandel’s policies would not favor the middle class.
“He’s not fighting for us but for traditional Republican stances that benefit the wealthy.”
Aside from economic issues, Mandel is also a social conservative.
“He is staunchly pro-life and believes marriage is between a man and a woman,” Considine said.
Considine said in areas of foreign policy, Mandel is a strong supporter of Israel, believing Israelis are one of the America’s greatest allies.
“We’re constantly facing foreign threats,” Stroemple said, adding that Mandel’s military record would help “toughen him as a leader,” especially when dealing with Iran.
According to a Sept. 12 poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, Brown leads Mandel 49 percent to 41 percent, with 7 percent undecided and 3 percent preferring another candidate.
While Brown has the lead with about six weeks to the election, some people think it’s any man’s game.
“I think it’s going to be a tight race,” Stepp said.

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