Ohio GOP Senate debate goes awry as Gibbons and Mandel come face to face

“You don’t know the squat,” Gibbons is heard poking out the former state treasurer’s experience in the private sector, after which Mandel, a veteran, replies, “Two tours in Iraq, don’t tell me that I did not work. ”

The men repeatedly told each other to back off before staring into each other’s eyes for several seconds, while fellow GOP debate participants Matt Dolan, Jane Timken and JD Vance watched awkwardly. Mandel finally took his seat.

Mandel and Gibbons continued their feud offstage, with Gibbons’ team calling Mandel “lopsided” and Mandel further criticizing Gibbons’ investment record.

Both candidates have been locked in a close race for the top spot in the Republican Senate primary, according to a recent poll. The candidates are seeking to replace incumbent Sen. Rob Portman, with the Republican primary currently set for May 3, although the date may be pushed back due to legal challenges to state redistricting plans.

Gibbons, a self-financier, has spent millions of his own money to improve his standing in the primary, while Mandel has a long record in statewide office to bolster his candidacy. And the two men, along with Vance and Timken, are locked in a parallel, sometimes heated competition for former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, which they believe could be decisive in the tight and crowded primary.

“Josh Mandel is unhinged, unfit and restless – because he’s losing. He’s only a pro at one thing: running for office,” said Gibbons spokeswoman Samantha Cotten. He’s determined to lie because he’s failing. He doesn’t have the temper, experience, or guts to be a U.S. senator, and voters in Ohio have seen how unprepared Josh Mandel is. to be a leader and that will be reflected in the May 3 election.

“Mike Gibbons got angry tonight about being called out for his Chinese oil investments,” said Scott Guthrie, Mandel’s campaign manager. “He claims he doesn’t remember the investment, but it’s part of a career-long pattern of Gibbons making money by taking American companies and selling them to foreign interests. While locals from Ohio are struggling to make ends meet in Joe Biden’s America, Mike Gibbons has spent his entire career profiting from shipping jobs overseas and investing in places like China and Russia.

In the video of the back and forth on stage between the two men, the word “pussy” is clearly used. Gibbons’ team denied using the word, while Mandel’s team said they had yet to review the audio of the event.

Another debate is scheduled for Cleveland on Monday.

Natalie Allison contributed to this report.


Politico

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