By Richard Payerchin
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel said he understands the needs of middle class families around the Buckeye State.
Mandel, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, visited Lorain County yesterday to introduce his plan for strengthening Ohio's economy by boosting the state's manufacturing base.
Mandel visited Beckett Corp. in North Ridgeville and praised the third generation family-owned company as a business that embodies "the backbone of Ohio's economy."
It also was a trip through the home county of his opponent, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democratic incumbent from Avon. Mandel outlined his own beliefs and said his campaign is reaching out to blue-collar workers who previously supported Democrats.
"First of all, I understand them," Mandel said. "I understand what a lot of these working class, middle class families are facing on a daily basis."
Mandel said his family is a mix of Democrats and Republicans and his grandparents were union laborers. His grandfather worked in a brass factory and his mother worked in a drug store.
"These are good, hardworking people who understood that if you're honest and put in the sweat you could have a nice middle class lifestyle ... for your families," Mandel said. "Those are the kind of people that really inspired me to join the Marine Corps and try to give back to my country in this respect."
During Brown's tenure as a "D.C. politician," Ohio has lost an estimated 3,500 factories and 500,000 jobs, Mandel said.
"His policies have failed," Mandel said. "His policies have failed Ohio. We can't keep sending the same people to Washington and expect different results. So many blue collar workers lost jobs throughout Lorain County because of bad policies coming out of Washington and Sherrod Brown is one of the main politicians in Washington who is responsible for those policies."
People also have noticed Mandel's efforts to run a positive campaign and he noted Brown's attack ads. People have asked if Brown has anything positive to say about his own record, Mandel said, adding he is proud of his tenure directing the finances of Ohio.
"I think the reason we're closing in on him is because people are recognizing the fact that I'm running a completely positive campaign, he's running a completely negative campaign and his negative ads are backfiring," Mandel said.
Brown will have trouble attracting moderate Republicans and independent voters, Mandel said, while Blue-collar Democrats have supported Mandel.
"We've got a ton of blue collar Democrats, a lot of men and women who they're working blue collar jobs, and they also go hunting on Saturday, church on Sunday and believe in peace through strength," Mandel said. "A lot of that profile of Democrats are helping us throughout the state."
Mandel also discussed his economic policies and possibility of cutting federal debt through reducing foreign aid and how U.S. troops are deployed in Germany and Japan.