News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Northeast Ohio Medical University

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio




Year in review: Ohio's mega Senate race
Brown vs. Mandel: a match of money and scathing critiques
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

It was the most expensive and bitter campaign for U.S. Senate in Ohio history – and it featured two starkly different candidates. In our continuing review of 2012, Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler examines the race between Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel.

KASLER: Brown vs. Mandel

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:09)


The Senate race that would make history started quietly. Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, known as a veteran liberal lawmaker, started his campaign for a second term with almost no fanfare. State treasurer and conservative Republican Josh Mandel made his announcement at the Akron Press Club in March with some lines that became standard fare for his stump speeches. 

“Right now these partisan politicians in Washington are driving our country off a cliff. Sherrod Brown is behind the steering wheel. We cannot wait another six years to turn this country in a different direction.”

But that formal announcement  -- just five days before the March primary -- followed by many months the unofficial launch of Mandel’s campaign – and the big money and nasty claims that became the hallmark of the race.

GOP national hope
Mandel bested five other GOP contenders and won the nomination handily. Then he stepped up the visibility of his campaign by bringing in Republican rock stars such as former presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, rumored to be on Mitt Romney’s short list for vice president. 
“We need to change the majority leader – we need to change who’s in charge in the Senate. It does us no good to win the White House if Harry Reid is still in charge in the Senate.”

Mandel also appeared on campaign stops with Romney several times. But some criticized the youthful Mandel, saying he was running a campaign with lots of high-profile help and soundbites, but few ideas.

Meanwhile, Brown took some hits for not stumping enough with the candidate at the top of the Democratic ticket. Brown often said – as he did in January – that his schedule kept him from appearing with President Obama. 
“I’m glad to appear with him; it’s nothing like that. It’s just – they’ll make politics out of anything. And I support what he’s trying to do on job creation and will continue to.”

Money and anger
All along, the money was piling up – dollars raised by the candidates, and those spent by outside groups and so-called superPACs. The race was one of those targeted as a win for Republicans that could swing the Senate their way.

The issues in the campaign – the economy, trade, the auto bailout – were touched on in commercials that started out nasty and in some case were arguably false, and only got worse. 
“Josh Mandel – he’s become the candidate of the big lie.” 
“Sherrod Brown – living by different rules than us.”

Those angry ads set a tone that carried over into the three debates in October between Mandel and Brown. The first was at the City Club of Cleveland, the second a few days later in Columbus. 
Mandel: “The folks we’ve hired into our office are qualified professionals, and I believe their record speaks for themselves. (boos) Let’s talk about the record.” 
Brown: “He has the nerve and encouraging his friends to ask questions about term limits when he clearly has no regard for any of that. (boos, cheers and applause)” 
Mandel: “Senator, you are a liar.” 
Brown: “Josh Mandel, as we know, has trouble telling the truth.”

Newspapers back Brown, some reluctantly
Brown ended up with the endorsements of nearly every newspaper in Ohio – some of which backed his opponent, Mike DeWine, when he ran for the Senate in 2006.

Back then, that had been the most expensive U.S. Senate race in Ohio history. But this race dwarfed that. And Mandel had the edge when you added up his own money and that of the outside groups.

Still, though Mandel had been the No. 2 statewide vote getter in 2010, Brown beat him by 326,000 votes. That gave Brown 50 percent of the vote – Mandel had 45percent. And third-party candidate Scott Rupert brought in 5 percent.

On election night, Brown sounded physically spent. 
“This race was never about me or my opponent. It was about the veteran in Columbus. It was about the waitress in Waverly. It was about the steelworker in Yorkville, the auto parts worker in Lima, the small businessman in Marietta, the farmer in Waldo.”

The Brown-Mandel contest was the third most expensive Senate race in the country in 2012 – not far behind those in Massachusetts and Virginia, with the candidates and the outside groups spending $76.2 million. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Ohio Supreme Court invalidates local fracking bans
If Ohio has their way, Fracking Wells will be planted in the courtyard of every town. That is if the State of Ohio can profit by it...for more on how the court ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University