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Republican Josh Mandel First to Declare for Ohio's 2022 Senate Race

Photo of Josh Mandel
Josh Mandel served two terms as Ohio treasurer. He's announced he'll seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman.

Republican Josh Mandel, a Marine veteran and former state treasurer, will make a third run for the U.S. Senate in Ohio. He's the first candidate to officially announce for the seat being vacated by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Mandel, 43, announced his candidacy Wednesday with a campaign message focused on former President Donald Trump, who won Ohio by 8 points in November despite losing the election.

"I'm going to Washington to fight for President Trump's America First Agenda and to pulverize the Uniparty – that cabal of Democrats and Republicans who sound the same, stand for nothing and are more interested in cocktail party invites than defending the Constitution," Mandel wrote in a statement.

Mandel specifically criticized the second impeachment trail against Trump, which he decried as "sham and unconstitutional." 

Mandel served two terms as Ohio Treasurer and ran for Senate twice before, both times unsuccessfully. He dropped out of the Republican primary in 2018 because of his wife's health, and lost the 2012 general election to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) with about 45% of the vote.

He faces likely competition from Jane Timken, who left her position as head of the Ohio Republican Party last week to explore a run. Timken was backed by Trump when she took over the Ohio GOP leadership in 2017,  but has never run for statewide office before.

At least two Democrats – veteran U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who represents the blue-collar Mahoning Valley, and former state health director Amy Acton – have also signaled serious interest in the coveted open seat. Last week, Acton stepped down from her role at the Columbus Foundation to "carefully consider" the possibility of a Senate run.