The hotly contested race for U.S. Senate in the battleground state of Ohio came to Boro Park on Wednesday night when Republican candidate Josh Mandel joined admirers and supporters at an event held in his honor, organized by Chaim and Mendy Israel and Dr. Israel Goldstein at the home of ranking community board member Mr. Jacob Hass, P.E., and his wife.
Mandel, a former Ohio state legislator and current Ohio State treasurer, is also a U.S. Marine veteran, who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He is running on the Republican ticket against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown.
Political experts already predicting a dogfight for the presidency in Ohio also predict a very close race between the conservative challenger, Mandel, against the liberal incumbent, Brown. Polls show a near toss-up for the Senate seat.
At a time when the future of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance between liberalism and conservatism, Mandel’s candidacy has taken on a much deeper meaning for conservatives all across the nation, and speakers at the event made it clear just how important this race was to the country as a whole and to the Jewish community in particular. Chaskel Bennett, a well-known activist, chaired the event and spoke with his trademark passion about how historic the upcoming election could be should Mr. Mandel pull off a victory. Declared Bennett, “The eyes of the country are on Ohio, and it is imperative that Jewish voters in that state and in all states exercise their right to vote. A President and a Senator may very well be decided by Ohio voters, and we in New York can and should do more than just sit on the sidelines and watch the Ohio race unfold. Our support of candidates like Josh Mandel sends a message to friends and adversaries alike that we in the Jewish community vote and stand up for those who stand up for us.”
Indeed, with the eyes of the nation on swing states like Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio, Mandel’s race for the Senate attracted NYS Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, son-in-law of President Richard Nixon, who introduced the candidate, citing the lessons of the Bob Turner victory as proof positive that committed grassroots support of a candidate can win the day, even in districts with an overwhelming Democratic majority.
Additionally, a timely phone call was received at the event from Congressman Bob Turner in Washington. Turner spoke to the crowd, expressing his support and appreciation for Mandel’s candidacy, and he urged those gathered to keep up the fight and to assist Josh in his quest for the Senate seat.
Mandel, a member of the Jewish community in Ohio, expressed his strong support for school choice, a strong and vibrant American-Israeli partnership, and renewed focus and leadership on jobs and American energy independence, issues and concerns that resonate with Americans from all backgrounds and certainly with the informed activists in the room.
Mandel’s eloquent and pointed comments were greeted with enthusiasm and applause. Ezra Friedlander, noted political consultant, attended the event and commented, “I deal with political officials every day and I am very impressed by this man; he clearly has a bright future ahead of him.”