Mandel advocates an end to early voting in campaign visit with Sen. Ted Cruz

Dayton area visits include Portman campaigning for Timken and Gaetz and Taylor Greene with Vance

Appearing with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at a Kettering rally Republican Josh Mandel called for an end to in-person early voting and placing strict limits on who can cast an absentee ballot.

“Just go back to one day of voting. It’s called Election Day,” said Mandel, who spoke to reporters prior to the rally at Victory Christian Church.

In Ohio any registered voter may cast an absentee ballot in person or by mail once voter registration closes 30 days before Election Day. Mandel would limit absentee voting by mail to senior citizens, the disabled and overseas and military voters. He also would get rid of electronic voting machines and require that people have photo identification to vote.

Ohio requires a variety of identification, including driver’s license, state ID and non-photo forms such as a government check or a utility bill with the voter’s current address.

In calling for those reforms, Mandel repeated the baseless claim that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Multiple investigations, election audits and court rulings nationwide, along with Trump’s then-Attorney General William Barr, found no evidence of widespread fraud or election problems that would have overturned Joe Biden’s win of the popular vote and in the Electoral College.



Cruz endorsed Mandel and called him the best conservative in the crowded-GOP race for U.S. Senate in Ohio.

Cruz was asked during a press conference before the rally about Trump endorsing one of Mandel’s rivals, businessman J.D. Vance.

Cruz said he supported the strongest conservative who can win and was confident Mandel would still win even without that endorsement. He said it is easy for candidates to claim to be the strongest conservative so he looks at the person’s record.

“Over and over again for a lot of years Josh Mandel has been standing up, leading the fight against Obamacare, leading the fight to defend life, leading the fight against out of control spending, leading the fight to ensure transparency in government spending,” Cruz said.

The rally attracted about 150 people.

“Josh Mandel and Ted Cruz are two peas in a pod: they are both sleazy bottom of the barrel extremists,” said Michael Beyer, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party.

Credit: Lynn Hulsey

Credit: Lynn Hulsey

Jennifer Alexander, 50, of Montgomery County, stood outside the church holding signs including one that said “God isn’t spelled GOP.”

“I follow the teaching of Jesus and that was to love everyone,” Alexander said. “I don’t believe the Republican Party is currently supporting the teachings of Jesus and loving and respecting all in our society.”

Inside, Cruz denounced Democrats for inflation, crime and immigrants crossing the southwestern border. He blamed Democrats for the COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns of businesses and schools that occurred during the Trump administration in states with both Republican and Democratic governors.

Cruz also made fun of mask mandates and rules that allowed people to take off masks on planes long enough to eat. Those federal mask mandates for public transportation were recently struck down by a Florida federal judge.

“I flew from Texas to Ohio and it was beautiful. I could breathe. Free, free at last,” Cruz said.

Seven Republicans and three Democrats are vying to replace U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is retiring.

In addition to Mandel and Vance the other Republican primary candidates are: State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls; businessman Mike Gibbons of Fairview Park; businessman Neil Patel of Westerville; businessman Mark Pukita of Dublin; and former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken of Canton.

The Democratic primary candidates are: attorney Morgan Harper of Columbus, businesswoman Traci “TJ” Johnson of Hilliard and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp. in Trumbull County.

Vance and Timken are also is campaigning in the Dayton region with members of Congress.

U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, are scheduled to join Vance in West Chester Twp. on Saturday. The 3:30 p.m. meet and greet event is at Lori’s Roadhouse, 4924 Union Centre Pavilion. Doors open at 3 p.m.

Portman is scheduled to appear with Timken on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Troll Pub, 216 Wayne Ave.

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