After the recent resurgence in the fortunes of Ohio Republicans, one might think that Sen. Sherrod Brown of the Buckeye state would be facing plenty of potential GOP opponents. But so far, only a trio of little-known candidates have filed papers: Rusty Bliss, Eric LaMont Gregory, and Michael L. Pryce.
If Jordan, LaTourette and Taylor opt out, there’s growing talk in Columbus that the Senate race might fall into the unlikely lap of Josh Mandel. The newspapers wouldn’t like it, as Mandel is widely viewed as being in too big a hurry. At age 33, Mandel is only three years beyond the constitutional age requirement for serving in the Senate.
But Mandel is a world-class fundraiser and, as a Jewish Republican, could cut — perhaps deeply — into a traditionally Democratic constituency that has been extremely supportive of Brown.
When urged to enter the race, Mandel tells friends his entire focus is on being a good state treasurer. But he doesn’t slam the door.
A Mandel candidacy remains unlikely — as would an eventual victory. But that it’s being talked about seriously is amazing. If, on the day Brown was elected to the U.S. Senate, those who pay close attention to these things were asked to list 100 possible opponents for Brown in 2012, Mandel’s name wouldn’t have been on anyone’s list.
A 33-year-old running for Senate? Now I feel old.
Don’t send him to buy drinks for any victory parties; he’ll probably get carded.