Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel (R-OH) has long been considered a rising star in conservative circles.
He has steadily risen through the ranks of the state GOP and he has gained popularity in Ohio even while holding firm to his core conservative convictions. He was widely seen as the most likely (and most formidable) Ohio Republican to run for the Senate seat against far-left incumbent Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Sadly, early Friday afternoon, Mandel announced that he would be dropping out of the race because of health issues in his family.
“Friends & Family,
Over a year ago, I launched a campaign for US Senate to make our state and country a better place for my children and yours. Since then, we’ve built a campaign that has us on a path to defeating Sherrod Brown this November. We’ve led him in every public poll and we’ve been the top fundraising Republican challenger in the country.
That being said, I was raised to believe that family always comes first. I still remember the first two words of advice my father gave me when Ilana and I had our first child: “Be there.” These were the same two words his father told him when I was born.
We recently learned that my wife has a health issue that will require my time, attention and presence. In other words, I need to be there.
Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign. For as long as that takes, whether it is months or years, it is important that I heed my dad’s advice and be there for my wife and our kids.
After recent discussions with our family and healthcare professionals, it has become clear to us that it’s no longer possible for me to be away from home and on the campaign trail for the time needed to run a US Senate race.
Therefore, I’m writing today to let you know that I am ending my campaign for US Senate in order to be there for my wife and our three children. This was a difficult decision for us, but it’s the right one.
While unexpected, I accept that this change of course is what God has in store for our family at this time. As we read in the Book of Proverbs, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s God’s purpose that prevails.”
The issues facing our country are profound and I believe we had a voice and perspective better than the current one in the office. At the same time, I think it’s important to acknowledge the respect I have for Senator Brown for having the passion to advocate for his beliefs and, as Teddy Roosevelt once aptly said, the courage to be “The Man in the Arena.”
I will continue to serve out the remainder of my term as State Treasurer and hope to have the opportunity to serve my state and country again in the future. But in the meantime, I must put my family first. I’m grateful for your understanding.
We wish his family well, and our prayers go out to his wife for quick healing.
Now, the Ohio state GOP’s job becomes even more difficult as they have to find a new candidate with the tools and the drive to defeat an incumbent. Could John Kasich (R-OH), who is term-limited and leaving office, pick up the reins for the state party and run to unseat Brown?
Perhaps Kasich, who is as anti-Trump as a Republican can be, will see benefit to being an anti-Trump (though not anti-GOP) voice in the Senate? While many conservatives loathe Kasich, he is far more conservative than Sherrod Brown and he is also far more popular in the state of Ohio.
Kasich may not be the candidate we want, but he could be the best chance we have at retiring Sherrod Brown.