Mandel, 43, said Wednesday on Twitter that former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, taking place this week, made his “blood boil,” and helped him to decide to run to replace incumbent Republican Rob Portman, who is retiring.
“I’m going to Washington to fight for President Trump’s America First Agenda,” Mandel said, using a slogan that has sparked concern among Jewish groups who note its invocation by World War II-era antisemites led by Charles Lindbergh. “In Washington, I will pulverize the Uniparty – that cabal of Democrats and Republicans who sound the same and stand for nothing.”
Mandel, who is Jewish and who is a Marine Corps veteran, was until Trump’s election as president in 2016 a conventional establishment Republican. Twice elected state treasurer, in 2014 and 2018, he also ran twice for Senate, losing to incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2012 and pulling out in 2018 because of his now ex-wife’s unspecified health issues.
His second time running, Mandel campaigned on Trump team themes such as suspicion of Muslims and restrictions on immigration. Mandel embraced endorsement from far-right figures, dueling on social media war with the Anti-Defamation League, which had condemned those figures.
Also considering a run to replace Portman is Amy Acton, the state’s Jewish former health director, who is a Democrat.