By Brian Gadd
Josh Mandel, candidate for U.S. Senate, toured Appalachian Ohio this past week to talk about his jobs plan.
Locally, Mandel's stop included a trip to Black Run Transmission in Nashport.
Mandel, a Republican who currently is Ohio's treasurer, is running against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, in the November general election.
With his stop at Black Run Transmission, Mandel said he was highlighting federal regulations and theireffect on small businesses.
"We need to simplify the tax code," Mandel said. "We need to stop restrictive regulations."
These actions, he said will help business owners concentrate on growing their businesses and adding jobs to the work force.
Another economic issue Mandel is targeting is shale. He said it's one of his main issues in his job plan and one on which he differs with Brown. He said he thinks the responsible exploration of natural resources can be a boon for the economy.
"I call it a win-win-win. It creates new jobs, it provides affordable energy and I see it as a matter of national security," he said. "We can become less dependent on foreign oil."
Other aspects of his plan include a balanced federal budget, stopping what he calls reckless borrowing and wasteful spending in Washington, D.C., and providing accessible and affordable health care. His plan includes advocating the repeal of the Affordable Care Act passed under President Barack Obama and developing a plan that allows more choice and competition.
With the election still months away, political ads already have started in the race between Mandel and Brown. One area that Mandel has been asked about is inexperience. At the age of 34, he spent four years in the state legislature before becoming treasurer.
He said people on the campaign trail have asked him about his age.
"I see my youth as an asset. It brings energy and new ideas. It's time for my generation to step up," Mandel said.