Republicans are already beginning to coalesce around the young treasurer, in the the hopes of pushing him toward a Senate run: at the Cuyahoga County GOP's recent Lincoln Day fundraiser, Mandel was the only Republican aside from former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty who was allowed to deliver formal remarks, even as other statewide officeholders were present. But Mandel is not without baggage: he ran an ad in 2010 suggesting his opponent was a Muslim -- something Democrats are not likely to let voters forget, should he run. Meanwhile, the Dispatch also reports that Republican sources say that Reps. Jim Jordan (R) and Steve LaTourette (R) also won't challenge Brown, further clearing the field for Mandel. Former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) and former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin (R) remain possibilities for the race.
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