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Ohio’s Josh Mandel announces 3rd run for Senate, pushing ‘America First’ agenda

Jewish former state treasurer adopts slogan that has sparked concern for its links to anti-Semitism; says Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial makes his ‘blood boil’

In this Nov. 4, 2014, file photo, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel speaks at the Ohio Republican Party election night celebration in Columbus, Ohio (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
In this Nov. 4, 2014, file photo, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel speaks at the Ohio Republican Party election night celebration in Columbus, Ohio (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

JTA — Josh Mandel, Ohio’s former treasurer, announced a third run for the US Senate, this time around as a Trump-branded Republican targeting his own party’s establishment as well as Democrats.

Mandel, 43, said Wednesday on Twitter that former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, taking place this week, made his “blood boil,” and helped him to decide to run to replace incumbent Republican Rob Portman, who is retiring.

“I’m going to Washington to fight for President Trump’s America First Agenda,” Mandel said, using a slogan that has sparked concern among Jewish groups who note its invocation by World War II-era anti-Semites led by Charles Lindbergh. “In Washington, I will pulverize the Uniparty – that cabal of Democrats and Republicans who sound the same and stand for nothing.”

Mandel, who is Jewish and who is a Marine Corps veteran, was until Trump’s election as president in 2016 a conventional establishment Republican.

US President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, January 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Twice elected state treasurer, in 2014 and 2018, he also ran twice for Senate, losing to incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2012 and pulling out in 2018 because of his now ex-wife’s unspecified health issues.

His second time running, Mandel campaigned on Trump team themes such as suspicion of Muslims and restrictions on immigration.

Mandel embraced endorsement from far-right figures, dueling on social media war with the Anti-Defamation League, which had condemned those figures.

Also considering a run to replace Portman is Amy Acton, the state’s Jewish former health director, who is a Democrat.

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