An Ohio-based tea party activist is laying down the gauntlet, pretty much guaranteeing his state will fire one of the most liberal senators in Washington next year.
Since 2011 Josh Mandell has served as Ohio's treasurer. In 2012 the Marine Corps veteran challenged Democratic U.S. Senate incumbent Sherrod Brown but lost 51 to 45 percent. Now Mandell has announced he's taking another shot at Brown in 2018.
Tom Zawistowski is executive director of the Portage County TEA Party, one of the largest tea party organizations in Ohio. He contends that the race is very winnable because Brown won't benefit from having Barack Obama running for president on the same ballot.
"Therefore the turnout on the Democratic side will be down substantially," he argues. "So Josh Mandell has an outstanding chance of winning – he's a true conservative, he will never stab us in the back, and we're going to elect him in Ohio in 2018. I promise you that."
The tea party leader says Brown is clearly one of the most liberal senators in Congress.
"I don't think he even likes living in Ohio; he's hardly ever here. He's basically propped up by the hard left – and they'll bring some serious money here," Zawistowski acknowledges.
"But Sherrod Brown is totally dedicated to global government, one-world economy, getting rid of nationalism – just basically class warfare," he concludes. "And we're very clear that Sherrod Brown is one of these hard lefties that's got to go – and the people in Ohio know that."
In mid-July, a PPD Buckeye State Battleground Poll showed Mandel with an eight-point lead over Brown (50%-42%).