Brown Defeats Mandel, Keeps Senate Seat

Ohio State Treasurer (r) and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (l) (photos by Brian Bull, Mike Urycki)
Ohio State Treasurer (r) and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (l) (photos by Brian Bull, Mike Urycki)
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A hoarse Sherrod Brown gave his victory speech in front of several hundred supporters at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Columbus. A focus of the hard fought campaign was the millions of dollars in Super PAC money that flowed into the state, a point Brown folded into his opening comments.

BROWN: “Only a year ago we gathered to celebrate the defeat of Issue 2, which was an oddly disguised assault on the middle class. Just like this fall we fought back against secretive, out of state forces that wanted to impose their will upon our state.”

Outside groups poured more than 50 million dollars into the campaign, including Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.

As Brown’s voice gave out, his wife, former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz took over.

SCHULTZ: “Can you hear me now? (CHEERS) The race was about the resurgence of Ohio manufacturing, the workers and managers of Navistar in Springfield(CHEERS) …Aerobus in Columbus, (CHEERS) Cooper Tire in Findley (CHEERS) . All adding jobs in Ohio. I can’t believe I’m reading somebody else’s writing....”

After the victory speech, former Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland called Brown’s victory a blow for the Super PACs.

STRICKLAND: “Well, I think Senator Brown’s smashing victory said word to the oligarchs, the millionaires, billionaires, that would like to control the Mid-Atlantic economic agenda, that Ohio is not for sale. It’s a strong message and I hope they’re watching and listening tonight because they wasted a lot of money telling a lot of lies, and the people of Ohio would not allow themselves to be deceived by this outside money.”

But despite the negative, often confrontational tone of the Senate race, Brown’s challenger, Josh Mandel conceded defeat to the incumbent candidate on a gracious note.

MANDEL: “I’d like to start off by congratulating Senator Brown. He ran a great campaign, and I have a great deal of respect for him as a leader, and also for his family.”

Just last month, Mandel had squared off against Brown in a series of fiery debates, often calling his opponent a “liar” and a typical “tax and spend liberal” who rarely deviated from President Obama’s policies. But while Mandel graciously bowed out of the race, adding he could not think of anything else he could’ve had done to win, he indicated to his supporters that he wasn’t ruling out future bids.

MANDEL: “And I believe we put forth everything we could in sweat, and honor, and in integrity. I’d also like to tell everyone here, that this isn’t the end of a fight. This is the beginning of a fight!”

Until then, Mandel is due back in the Ohio Treasurer’s office. And Brown returns to Washington.

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