The question is, though, is this an issue that will motivate voters?  I mean those of us who already dislike Mandel will seize on this, and the fact that he’s running for higher office before serving three months in the position he was just elected, as a reason to continue to dislike Mandel.  But does this “promise” breaking cost Mandel with any of his supporters?  Or with Independents?

I think a more effective knock against Mandel is here’s a guy who will say anything to win (even if that requires him to do a 180 on gay rights, for example), but who’s done nothing.  And I mean nothing.  Mandel served two terms in the Ohio House of Representatives and had virtually nothing to show for it, except for voting against making cockfighting a felony.  He also voted against HB 176, a bill that passed the House with bipartisan support that would have forbid housing and employment GLBT discrimination. I’ll cut ODP some slack that they aren’t going to come out of the gate with their hardest hit this early in the campaign.

Mandel sponsored (as opposed to the virtually meaningless act of co-sponsored) four pieces of legislation during his brief tenure in the Statehouse.  Only one ever made it out of committee.

Mandel ran a disgusting campaign against Kevin Boyce last year.  But running for Senate is different than running for Treasurer.  A Senate campaign requires more substance and provides more attention than a downticket Treasurer’s race.  Mandel is a smart and effective on the stump.  Mandel can get by only so far with slick ads featuring his family and Mandel in his military uniform.  He’ll also have to address SB 5.  Plus, Mandel is going to face a much harsher political climate in Ohio, a much better opponent, a much better funded opponent (Brown began the year with a reported $1.5 million already on hand) than Mandel has ever faced.

Will Kevin Coughlin and Ken Blackwell challenge Mandel for the primary?  It sure looks like the GOP establishment has all but decided that Mandel is their only option and is trying to clear the field for him.

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