Pounds: Handle on MandelWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Mandel is the easy endorsement choice for the March 6 U.S. Senate Republican primary. He defines the term “rising star,” having been anointed by such conservative groups as Club for Growth, Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund and the state party and media such as The Plain Dealer. His background is the stuff of fundraising legend; he served two tours in Iraq, racked up public service time on Lyndhurst City Council and in the state legislature. His victory in the race for the state treasurer seat was as dominant as modern politics allows.
He is young, he raises funds at an impressive clip (The Plain Dealer described him as “ferocious”) and his ambition is as clear as the spotlight the GOP is shining on him.
There are caveats; Mandel seems more interested in a coronation than an election, failing to appear at a number of candidate events, including The Children of Liberty forum Feb. 16 at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. Elections should be earned, not predestined, but Mandel looks like he is coasting and that should give educated voters a reason to watch him closely.
As Toledo Free Press Staff Writer Caitlin McGlade reported, “The treasurer is also under fire from Democrats for not attending a single State Board of Deposit meeting. The board determines which banks hold State money.” Mandel would be wise to avoid the appearance that his eye is always looking forward and he is not focused on the moment at hand.
There are two interesting people in the race who merit future consideration. Eric LaMont Gregory, McGlade reported, “researched how to reduce neonatal death in developing countries and he developed a better method than the standard treatment to keep blood flowing in premature babies. He has had to negotiate with rebel leaders to get through war zones in order to treat women and babies. And he invented a type of thermometer that charts temperature in color coding for people in developing countries who are unable to read numbers.”
That translates into experience that could bridge the medical and political arenas.
“What happens to you after that is that everybody with a major problem comes to you regardless of what that problem is in, because you have solved a problem that most people said had no solution,” Gregory said.
Scott Rupert, who is running as an uncontested independent, is an energizing speaker with some clear-headed ideas.
“I know that Americans are not as far apart as the loud voices say they are,” Rupert said. “We the people have surrendered our government to fear.”
If Mandel wins the primary, he will face entrenched Sen. Sherrod Brown, the immovable object waiting for Mandel’s unstoppable force.
There will be time to discuss that race later, but Mandel is the clear choice for March 6.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.