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Ohio’s state treasurer spoke to an audience swelling to more than 100 people Thursday at The Grand Plaza ballroom about his run for the U.S. Senate.
Republican Josh Mandel, 34, of Beachwood, is seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is seeking his second semester. The event was hosted by the Auglaize and Allen County Patriots.
Mandel, who was elected to the state treasurer position in November 2010, said he has made common sense changes while in office effectively reducing the budget by $1.2 million by the end of his first fiscal year.
He said he will bring that same common sense to Washington if voters support him.
“I think Washington is broken,” Mandel said. “We need a new generation of leaders who look different and sound different. We need someone who will stand up not only to Democrats, but to Republicans as well.”
If elected, Mandel said some of his main goals would be to protect Social Security and Medicare and to limit government intrusion in small business.
“The government is wasting money and politicians are compromising our Social Security and Medicare for seniors,” Mandel said. “Bureaucracy is hurting small business and sending jobs to China, India and Russia.”
The candidate also said he has been able to avoid the label of being a “fringe” radical candidate by focusing on the issues and addressing what is important to everyday citizens.
He said several of those key issues include domestic energy, healthcare and a balanced budget.
Mandel supports domestic energy exploration and said we should be exploring more avenues to increase domestic production rather than giving profits to radical Muslim governments overseas.
He said the government should not be in the business of health care, and he believes decisions on a patient’s health should be decided between them and their physicians.
He also noted more focus needed to be applied to balancing the budget.
“A family sits at their table at home and balances their budget,” Mandel said. “A small business owner balances his business’s budget. There is no reason the government shouldn’t have to balance a budget. They can’t even get a budget passed, little alone balance one.”
Mandel, who is a Marine veteran with two tours in Iraq, served a term in the Ohio House of Representatives after a grassroots campaign that saw him elected in a district that was Democrat by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
He said he believes his background has him prepared to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Mandel said he knocked on 19,679 doors to talk to voters during his state General Assembly bid.
“I have the backbone of a Marine,” Mandel said. “I can stand up to Democrats, Republicans and powerful lobbyists.”