Josh Mandel drops out of 2018 Senate race

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel had been regarded as the front-runner in the GOP race. Credit ANDY CHOW  OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel had been regarded as the front-runner in the GOP race. Credit ANDY CHOW OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

OH state Treasurer Josh Mandel, seen here with wife Ilana, was hoping to run against Sen.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) announced Friday afternoon he has dropped out of the state senate race to care for his wife.

His departure leaves Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons as the only prominent Republican still in the race, but the deadline for filing for February 7.

According to a news release, Mandel recently learned of his wife Illana's health issues and plans to end his bid for state senate. "Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign". Mandel was hoping for a second battle with Brown, who beat Mandel by 6 points in 2012.

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The Republican front-runner for the U.S. Senate race against incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown is dropping out of the race.

"For months we have been laying the groundwork to defeat Sherrod Brown in November with one of the strongest grassroots organizations of any outsider in OH", he said. Sherrod Brown, citing his wife's health.

Mandel says in his letter that his better half has a medical problem that will require him being there for her and their three kids. There's still a month left before the filing deadline for the May 8 primary. He was re-elected in 2014.

The shock decision leaves state Republicans scrambling for a top-tier candidate to face Brown in a state that President Trump easily carried last fall. DeWine is now Ohio's attorney general and is running for governor.

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