OHIO | OH-gov | OH-sen

Renacci Weighs Bid After Mandel's Shocking Exit

Gibbons vowed to spend $5 million more "if needed."

Jan. 8, 2018, 10:49 a.m.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) ended his Senate campaign Friday because of his wife’s health issues, depriving Republicans of a high-profile challenger to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) ahead of a Feb. 7 filing deadline.

“Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign,” Mandel said in a message to supporters. “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.” (Hotline reporting)

Following Mandel’s exit, investment banker Michael Gibbons (R), who is already in the race, vowed to spend $5 million more of his own money “if needed.” A memo from his campaign said his Senate ethics filing shows Gibbons is worth $90-$100 million. (release)

Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-16) “is taking a hard look at departing the GOP governor’s race to run for the Senate, Republican sources said.” Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor (R) plans to stay the course with her run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination and will not seek to replace” Mandel. (Columbus Dispatch)

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones (R) said he is considering a bid, while Hill­billy Elegy au­thor J.D. Vance (R) is another potential contender.

Former Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) will not enter the race, with spokesman Rob Nichols saying, "The congressman’s decision in May to not pursue a Senate run had nothing to do with Josh Mandel and the congressman looks forward to starting his new role with the Ohio Business Roundtable on Jan. 16th.” (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Secretary of State Jon Husted (R), who is running on state Attorney General Mike DeWine’s (R) gubernatorial ticket, is also staying out, saying he and DeWine “are working together better than ever.” (Twitter)

MORE POTENTIAL CANDIDATES. Todd Leebow (R), “the CEO of Majestic Steel who recently met with President Donald Trump,” is also being floated as a possible Brown challenger. (Politico)

State Sen. Matt Huffman (R) was floated as well. (WKYC)

Other potential candidates include Rep. Dave Joyce (R-14) and state party chair Jane Timken (R). The primary is Mat 8. (Hotline reporting)

ON BOARD. Over the weekend, 16 county chairs who are backing Renacci’s gubernatorial bid endorsed Gibbons. (release)

KASICH. “Allies of” Gov. John Kasich (R) “are divided about whether the term-limited Ohio governor should enter the state's upcoming Senate race.”

Shortly after Mandel’s announcement, “Kasich strategist John Weaver moved to squash the speculation,” tweeting: “There are bigger fish to fry.”

“But several Ohio Republicans said Weaver should not be so quick to dismiss a Kasich candidacy and are encouraging the governor to reconsider running for the Senate seat.” (Buzzfeed)

MORE MANDEL REACTION. NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner praised Mandel, saying, “Josh, Ilana and the entire Mandel family will be kept in our prayers during this difficult time. Not only is Josh a dedicated husband and father, but he’s also a strong, conservative leader.” (release)

Brown campaign manager Justin Barasky also wished Mandel well, saying, “At this time, we wish Josh, Ilana and their family the best of health. We hope for Ilana's full and speedy recovery.” (release)

What We're Following See More »
Judge Orders Stone Gag Order
3 hours ago
New Election Ordered in NC-09
3 hours ago
Pence Traveling to Colombia
9 hours ago

"Vice President Mike Pence will go to Colombia on Monday to speak with the Colombian president and regional leaders about the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela and rally the international community behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó." Pence "will deliver remarks to the 14 nations that are part of the 'Lima Group' in Bogota," and will meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Rep. Bradley Byrne Announces Bid Against Sen. Doug Jones
9 hours ago

"U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne became the first official Republican entrant into the 2020 U.S. Senate race announcing his intention to run in a race that could become one of the most expensive political contests in Alabama history. Byrne, a three-term congressman from Fairhope, said he anticipates the fundraising during the lengthy 2020 campaign to eclipse the 2017 special Senate election, in which an estimated $50 million was spent during the contest. Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore in that election, raised more than $24 million."

Coast Guard Lt. Planned Large-scale Terrorist Attack
9 hours ago

"A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists...Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.”


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.