Josh Mandel's Ohio GOP Senate campaign strategy is focused on capturing voters 'through churches'​: report

Josh Mandel's Ohio GOP Senate campaign strategy is focused on capturing voters 'through churches'​: report
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Josh Mandel, the former treasurer for Ohio who is currently running for a Republican Senate seat in the state, is focusing on a different political strategy in hopes of attracting Republican voters.

According to Yahoo News, Mandel is working to attract Christian Republican voters while vowing to make key government decisions with “the Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other.” During a recent interview he conducted while on the campaign trail, Mandal opened up about his political strategy.

“Usually, when someone’s running for U.S. Senate or governor or Congress, they’d go to all the Republican rubber chicken dinners and clam bakes and hog roasts, stuff like that,” Mandel said. “We’re blowing up the playbook. I’m sidestepping all of the Republican Party groups and, instead, I’m running a campaign through churches.”

While the aspiring lawmaker believes in his strategy, it has received some blowback. Rev. Tim Ahrens, who serves as senior minister at the First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio, recently expressed his concern about Mandal's approach to capturing the attention of voters. Per Yahoo News, Ahrens said, "Jesus dedicated his life to caring for those who had been forsaken and forgotten, 'so to use his name to further divide people is really sick.'”

He also described Mandel's strategy as "abusive" of the Christian faith. “The problem that I have is when you literally take what is the Christian faith and turn it into a political campaign, it’s abusive of the faith,” Ahrens said.

However, Mandel stands behind his approach. He also does not see any contradiction or conflict of interest between his religious beliefs and campaign strategy. When Mandel attends campaign events, he opens with a personal story of how "'courageous Christians' sheltered his grandmother during the Holocaust, saving her life" while explaining "when it comes to his support for Israel, he often has more in common with evangelical Christians than he does with liberal Jews."

“From my perspective, you know for me, I’m a proud American, I’m a proud Marine Corps vet and I’m a proud Jew,” he explained. “And when I look at the U.S.-Israel relationship, I think liberal Jews in America should be ashamed of themselves for supporting anti-Israel groups like J Street. And I think the best friends of the U.S.-Israel relationship in America are evangelical Christians.”

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