Rising GOP star in Ohio a prime target for Dems

August 30, 2011 - 2:15 AM
Ohio Senate Mandel

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2010, file photo Republican Ohio Treasurer of State-elect Josh Mandel, right, celebrates his win with his wife Ilana on stage at the Ohio Republican Party celebration in Columbus, Ohio. Republican hopes to unseat liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio next year are riding on Mandel, the boyish-looking, 33-year-old Marine veteran was touted as a rising GOP star after knocking off an incumbent by 14 points to take the state treasurer’s seat last fall in his first statewide race. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican hopes to unseat liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio next year are riding on Josh Mandel. The boyish-looking, 33-year-old Marine veteran was touted as a rising GOP star after knocking off an incumbent by 14 points to take the state treasurer's seat last fall in his first statewide race.

This time around he's emerged as a prime target for Democrats in a key swing state. His fledgling campaign has been shaken by allegations of questionable campaign donations and ethical lapses, and a broken promise.

Democrats have already hit Mandel on several fronts, even though a recent poll has Brown beating Mandel 49-34 percent.