First, Ken Blackwell has decided not to run.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell will not run against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ridding Republicans of a potentially divisive primary in one of their key targeted states.Indeed, as I expressed earlier, a choice between a conservative veteran favorite like Blackwell, and rising star Josh Mandel, would have been an extremely difficult one.
"After three months of quietly talking with my family, friends, political strategists, donors and two men who have expressed a strong interest in this Senate seat, I have decided to end my active consideration of a run for the U.S. Senate," Blackwell told the Daily Caller on Friday. "I believe it is unfair to the conservative objective of defeating Sherrod Brown to stretch out my decision making process any further."
Then, not long after Blackwell's announcement, one of my previous predictions came to fruition, regarding Senator Jim DeMint's PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF). In April, I said this:
Josh is conservative enough to earn SCF's full endorsement. With the news yesterday that he has hired the same fundraiser that DeMint uses, and this news update from DeMint's PAC coming just a day later, I'm beginning to suspect that DeMint has already reached out to Josh, or vice versa.Two days ago, Senator DeMint announced SCF's very first endorsement in the 2012 election season, and it is no other than Ohio's Josh Mandel.
I am very proud to announce the endorsement of State Treasurer Josh Mandel for U.S. Senate in Ohio.Then, just yesterday, the Club for Growth also endorsed Josh.
This is the first Senate Conservatives Fund endorsement for the 2012 elections, and we're launching an all-out SCF Surge to raise $100,000 for Josh Mandel's campaign before the end of the week. Please make a contribution today so he can defeat U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the most liberal politician in the Senate.
In the Republican primary race, Josh Mandel is the candidate favored by the grassroots. SCF members in Ohio are very excited about his candidacy and have urged us to support his Senate campaign. We're answering the call today, and we're going to do everything we can to help the people of Ohio elect a new senator who shares their values.
Washington, DC – Club for Growth PAC today announced that it is endorsing Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for the United States Senate seat currently held by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH):Kevin Coughlin is also still in the race for the GOP. However, I do not see how he is going to beat Mandel. Josh just has too much going for him right now. He has support and enthusiasm from both the Ohio GOP establishment and the tea party crowd. He has won statewide and holds a current office, thus has higher name recognition. Barring Josh getting himself in trouble via some Weiner-like scandal, he is going to cruise. I don't expect Coughlin to even be in the race when the primary comes around.
“The Club for Growth PAC proudly endorses Josh Mandel for the United States Senate,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Josh Mandel represents a bright future for Ohio and will be a pro-growth star if elected. Sherrod Brown has been a disaster for Ohio. Brown voted for the Stimulus, ObamaCare, and for the Wall Street bailout. Sherrod Brown’s anti-growth agenda has killed jobs and hurt Ohio. We believe Club Members will do everything they can to help Josh Mandel win election as Ohio’s next Senator.”
Getting back to defeating Sherrod Brown, the momentum that Josh is building already has Brown worried. Check out the email he sent out yesterday in response to the SCF and CFG endorsements.
Right-wing special interests have already started to pour money into Ohio in an effort to take this Senate seat. My campaign must raise $100,000 by June 30th to keep pace. Will you make a contribution of $25 -- more if you can afford it, less if you can’t -- right now to help me get there?Ohio Republicans have been waiting for years to get rid of Sherrod Brown. Now, we have the additional resources from national conservative groups, plus an outstanding candidate. This race is getting very exciting.
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