Ohio Republican announces 2018 challenge to Sherrod Brown

Ohio Republican announces 2018 challenge to Sherrod Brown

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) announced he will mount a challenge to Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism On The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage Michelle Obama would be tied with Biden as frontrunner if she ran in 2020, poll shows MORE (D-Ohio) in 2018. 

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In a video posted on Wednesday, Mandel announced his rematch against the Democratic senator, saying he will bring power back from Washington to the Buckeye State.

This will be the second time Mandel tries to unseat Brown. In 2012, Brown defeated the state treasurer by 6 points.

His announcement echoed President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE's presidential run, calling the nation’s capital “a rigged system” and vowing to “drain the swamp.”

“As your treasurer, I’ve been fighting to make Ohio’s government more transparent and more accountable to the people,” Mandel said. 

“And now it’s time to take the fight to Washington,” he continued. “That’s why I’m running for the U.S. Senate. It’s time to transfer the power of the politicians to the people.” 

Mandel, a Marine Corps veteran, has served as state treasurer since 2010 and has been close to Trump since the campaign. He spoke at Trump's "thank you" rally in Cincinnati last week and in the video, he noted policy areas that overlap with the president-elect including opposition to sanctuary cities and implementation of term limits.

Brown, who’s served in the Senate since 2007, will be one of Republicans’ top targets in the 2018 cycle. He’s one of 10 incumbents up for reelection who serve in a state Trump won in November. Trump won Ohio by 8 points.
 
The 2018 Senate map will be an uphill battle for Democrats. The party needs to defend 23 seats, including two seats held by independents who caucus with Democrats. Republicans only need to defend eight seats.

Minutes after announcing his run, Mandel had racked up several high-profile endorsements, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioIvanka must recalibrate her paid family leave plan to make it tenable The United States needs a career ambassador in Honduras Rubio in Colombia to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to Venezuela MORE (R-Fla.) and FreedomWorks PAC.

Mandel isn’t the only Republican interested in challenging Brown. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) is considering a run and has close ties to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Kasich was one of Trump’s most vocal critics during the campaign.

Another possible contender is Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), who told BuzzFeed last week he’s “looking at options” for a “potential statewide run.”