TROY — Former Ohio Treasurer and State Rep. Josh Mandel visited Troy on Thursday during his campaign for the GOP nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate after U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced in January 2021 that he would not seek re-election in 2022.
First, Mandel toured Clopay Building Products, a local manufacturer and distributor of residential and commercial garage doors.
“It was an honor to visit Clopay today,” Mandel said. “While their competitors are manufacturing in China, Clopay is making garage doors right here in Ohio and in America. Clopay should be applauded for choosing America over China.”
Mandel spoke about seeing the pride in employees’ eyes, and hearing it in their voices as well, about working for a manufacturer in the U.S.
“They are manufacturing products here in America while so many other companies have unfortunately chosen China,” Mandel said. “As the next U.S. Senator from Ohio, I will be the worst nightmare to the Chinese Communist Party, and I will fight like a rabid dog to protect and reward companies like Clopay who are choosing to manufacture here in America.”
Mandel added he was “very impressed with the efficiency and technology at the plant, as well as the dedication of the workers.”
Mandel is also familiar with Clopay, having visited the plant before during its recent expansion and taking part in its groundbreaking.
“A few years ago, I had the honor of putting the first shovel in the ground when Clopay decided to invest and expand in Troy, “Mandel said. “And today was such a beautiful sight to see these machines running 24/7 and these hard-working Ohioans with high-paying jobs.
“By choosing to manufacture here in a America, Clopay is not only contributing to the economic strength of our country, but also to the national security of our people,” he said.
Mandel went onto applaud the patriotism of local residents, saying, “I believe the people of Miami County and the surrounding areas embody the patriotism and work ethic of Ohio and America.”
Following his tour of Clopay, he held a town hall meeting with local pastors at First Baptist Church of Troy that was organized by Pastor Johnathan Newman of Koinos Christian Fellowship.
“We were originally expecting a dozen pastors, and we ended up over 50 pastors attending,” Mandel said.
For Mandel, his campaign is a religious one, and he explained they are prioritizing building relationships with pastors.
“Instead of running my campaign through traditional Republican Party groups, I’ve decided to run my campaign through churches,” Mandel said. “I’m proud to have earned the support of Pastor Johnathan Newman of Koinos Christian Fellowship, who organized today’s pastor town hall meeting. The mantra of our campaign is ‘pastors over politicians’ because we are ignoring politicians and building our campaign on the foundation set for us by pastors and Christian activists throughout the state.”
He later underscored his commitment to religious values.
“As the next U.S. Senator, I will do everything I can to protect, defend, and advance the Judeo-Christian values that have made America strong,” Mandel said.
Another pillar of Mandel’s campaign is his support of President Donald Trump.
“My campaign is also built on a bedrock of believers in the Trump America First agenda, and as I crisscross the state, I proudly talk about the being the first statewide official to have endorsed President Trump,” Mandel said.
Mandel went over some of his other policy priorities, including election integrity and “protecting life from conception to natural death.” He is also a supporter of constitutional carry, or permitless carry, which allows anyone to carry a handgun, either openly or concealed, without a license or permit. Approximately 20 states have permitless carry, with some restrictions.
“Another issue I’m running on is protecting our Second Amendment gun rights and instituting constitutional carry,” Mandel said. “Constitutional carry would allow any American citizen to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. I do not believe that citizens should have to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I believe we already have a permit and that permit is the Second Amendment.”
Mandel also emphasized his stance on being against Critical Race Theory,
“I believe America was founded on the principles of liberty and freedom, not racism and slavery,” Mandel said.
Mandel has had previous runs for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and in 2018. In 2012, Mandel won the Republican primary and then lost in the general election. He was a candidate in 2018 before withdrawing due to family issues.