TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – The hotly contested battle for U.S. Senate in Ohio is drawing to an end as Election Day nears, but neither candidate is backing down.
He is only two years into his term as state treasurer, but Josh Mandel wants more. The 35-year-old hopes his call for change in Washington will be the difference in a bitter campaign against incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown.
"I don't care if they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarian, vegetarian, what have you. As U.S. Senator, I am going to represent all 11.5 million people in the state of Ohio. And my boss isn't going to be the head of the Republican Party or any lobbyists in Washington. My boss is going to be the people of the state of Ohio," said Mandel.
Mandel said he will end wasteful spending in Washington, balance the federal budget, and vote to repeal universal health care Republicans call "Obamacare."
But Mandel has never been a supporter of the auto bailout, which many say saved 1 out of 8 jobs in Ohio. Still, he is not concerned about backlash.
"I'm the grandson of a UAW worker, and people in Toledo and throughout the state, know that I will take a back seat to no one when it comes to fighting for auto jobs, fighting to protect auto jobs, and also grow auto jobs here in northwest Ohio," said Mandel.
The Democratic incumbent senator, Sherrod Brown, is basing his re-election efforts on the auto bailout. He says he was one of the early leaders of the plan.
Brown rallied in Toledo this past weekend to defend the bailout, symbolically riding away in a Toledo-made Jeep.
"The unemployment rate in Ohio has come down 3.5 points. Not good enough for every, there's still too many unemployed people in Ohio, in Delta, in Bowling Green, in Toledo and Port Clinton, but we're moving in the right direction," said Brown.
The senator says if re-elected, he will continue to protect manufacturing jobs, push his bi-partisan legislation to crack down on China's currency manipulation, and defend the president's affordable health care act.
"Right now $1.2 million seniors in Ohio have gotten free checkups and prostate screenings and mammograms as a result of this law. 200,000 seniors have saved an average of $600 on their prescription drug benefits as a result of this law," explained Brown.
Negative, nasty advertisements from both sides have defined this race. Neither candidate is backing down.
"Doesn't he have at least a couple of good things to say about his own record?" asked Mandel.
"The ads that I have run have been quoting newspapers and very well documented facts," defended Brown.
While many voters would be skeptical, both candidates say they are capable of working with the other party to move Ohio and America forward.