Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has dropped out of the U.S. Senate race.
In a Jan. 5. statement in which he announced the move, he cited the health of his wife, Ilana Shafran Mandel. Mandel is a Republican from Beachwood. He previously ran against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, in 2012.
"We recently learned that my wife has a health issue that will require my time, attention and presence," Mandel said in his statement. "In other words, I need to be there."
Mandel wrote that "understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign."
"Therefore, I’m writing today to let you know that I am ending my campaign for US Senate in order to be there for my wife and our three children," he said in the statement. "This was a difficult decision for us, but it’s the right one."
Mandel's second term as Ohio Treasurer ends Jan. 14, 2019. In Ohio, the office of treasurer is limited to two-terms, so Mandel will not be able to run for re-election.
With Mandel's exit, two candidates remain in the Republican primary to challenge Brown for his seat in the U.S. Senate, Cleveland businessman Michael Gibbons and Marysville businesswoman Melissa Ackison. Neither Gibbons nor Ackison have political experience.
Mandel's entire statement is below:
Friends & Family,
Over a year ago, I launched a campaign for US Senate to make our state and country a better place for my children and yours. Since then, we’ve built a campaign that has us on a path to defeating Sherrod Brown this November. We’ve led him in every public poll and we’ve been the top fundraising Republican challenger in the country.
That being said, I was raised to believe that family always comes first. I still remember the first two words of advice my father gave me when Ilana and I had our first child: “Be there.” These were the same two words his father told him when I was born.
We recently learned that my wife has a health issue that will require my time, attention and presence. In other words, I need to be there.
Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign. For as long as that takes, whether it is months or years, it is important that I heed my dad’s advice and be there for my wife and our kids.
After recent discussions with our family and healthcare professionals, it has become clear to us that it’s no longer possible for me to be away from home and on the campaign trail for the time needed to run a US Senate race.
Therefore, I’m writing today to let you know that I am ending my campaign for US Senate in order to be there for my wife and our three children. This was a difficult decision for us, but it’s the right one.
While unexpected, I accept that this change of course is what God has in store for our family at this time. As we read in the Book of Proverbs, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s God’s purpose that prevails.”
The issues facing our country are profound and I believe we had a voice and perspective better than the current one in the office. At the same time, I think it’s important to acknowledge the respect I have for Senator Brown for having the passion to advocate for his beliefs and, as Teddy Roosevelt once aptly said, the courage to be “The Man in the Arena.”
I will continue to serve out the remainder of my term as State Treasurer and hope to have the opportunity to serve my state and country again in the future. But in the meantime, I must put my family first. I’m grateful for your understanding.
Brown sent the following tweet after learning of Mandel's decision:
At this time, we wish Josh, Ilana and their family the best of health. We hope for Ilana's full and speedy recovery.— Sherrod Brown (@SherrodBrown) January 5, 2018
Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for the Gibbons campaign, issued the following statement on behalf of Gibbons:
“Our prayers go out to Josh, his wife and family. Diane and I are hoping for the very best for them," Gibbons said in the statement. "For months we have been laying the groundwork to defeat Sherrod Brown in November with one of the strongest grassroots organizations of any outsider in Ohio. Now is the time for Republicans to unite as one so we can defeat Sherrod Brown. As a conservative outsider, no one is better positioned to end career-politician Sherrod Brown’s career than I am. I look forward to working with Republicans and independents around Ohio to end Sherrod Brown’s political career.”
The Ohio Republican Party issued the following statement by party chairman Jane Timken:
"Josh Mandel has made an honorable decision to be with his family in a time of need. While we are saddened to see him leave the race, we understand, and offer our thoughts and prayers to his family. Our focus is, and will continue to be, on electing Republicans statewide and continuing to make Ohio stronger."