Mandel's Senate fund-raising account switches partners

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Liz Skalka, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio
·2 min read
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May 4—Josh Mandel's Senate campaign amended its joint fund-raising account this week to remove the Delaware County Republican Party and replace it with Shelby County's.

Mr. Mandel filed an updated statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, swapping out the Delaware County Republicans' federal account for their counterparts in Shelby, which is part of a cluster of deep-red western Ohio counties.

Instead of collecting cash directly in his Senate account, Mr. Mandel uses a joint fund-raising account that allows donors to write one large check to be split among his personal account, leadership PAC, and the local Republican party, in accordance still with FEC contribution limits.

In the first quarter of 2021, Mr. Mandel reported raising $1.3 million in his "Team Josh" account. But only $700,000 of that would be disbursed to his Senate account, his campaign said last month. And as for the rest of his haul, there are restrictions on what kind of campaign expenses it can be put toward.

The Delaware County GOP did not immediately respond to a request for comment; Mr. Mandel's campaign declined to comment.

While candidates are trying to score individual endorsements from grassroots influencers, local parties generally remain neutral until after the primary. The Delaware County Republicans had not endorsed Mr. Mandel.

The former state treasurer is vying against former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, investment banker Mike Gibbons, businessman Bernie Moreno, and several others to succeed retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.

Mr. Mandel stumped in Toledo last weekend at a "faith and family" rally at Vida International Church alongside former Butler County state Rep. Candice Keller, who runs a conservative group, Patriot America.

In 2019, the Ohio Republican Party — led then by Ms. Timken — called on Ms. Keller to resign following her remarks about the mass shooting in Dayton. The Ohio GOP endorsed her opponent in a 2020 state Senate primary that Ms. Keller lost.

Last month, Mr. Mandel's campaign announced a Toledo fund-raiser with Jeff Ansted, the chief executive officer of American Broadband and Telecommunications, which faces a $63 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission for allegedly misusing government funds intended to help low-income people get telephone and internet service.

First Published May 4, 2021, 11:25am