Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel paid tens of thousands of dollars to a woman he was dating during his 2018 Senate campaign, while married to another woman.
FEC reports show that Rachel Wilson, Mandel’s finance director and mistress, was paid more than $100,000 between his 2018 campaign and a PAC supporting his candidacy.
It’s widely known that Mandel was in an affair with Wilson at the time. He ended his campaign citing his wife’s health, later divorcing her in 2020 to continue his affair with Wilson.
Three dozen Republican women, including three women who left Mandel’s campaign citing a toxic work environment created by Wilson in her continuing duties with Mandel’s 2020 campaign, have urged Ohio Republicans to reject Mandel, warning he’ll “embarrass” the party if nominated as a candidate for the US Senate. Mandel has run for statewide office five times in the past 12 years, with some Ohio Republicans criticizing Mandel, who has served in elected office since 2003, as a career politician who’ll put on the act he needs to in pursuit of the next political gig.
Sources familiar with Mandel’s 2018 campaign also describe the career politician as accepting donations from high-level Republican fundraisers, who expected the Ohio state treasurer to become the presumptive Republican nominee for the Senate. After Mandel dropped out, citing concerns with his wife’s health, he did nothing to spend the money to support Jim Renacci, a Republican Congressman who was nominated by Ohio Republicans for the Senate. Renacci lost to Sherrod Brown. It appears that Mandel kept the money to support his current 2022 Senate campaign.