Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel - a Republican nominee for U.S. Senate - says to change Washington "we have to change the people we send there."
Mandel visited Franciscan University in Steubenville on Monday, and met privately with university officials. Mandel, 34, a resident of Lyndhurst, Ohio, has been campaigning extensively in East Ohio, where he is pushing a pro-coal, pro-jobs message.
"Energy means jobs," he said. "We're talking about the importance of maximizing our natural resources for jobs, affordable energy and national security."
TREASURER JOSH MANDEL
He criticized Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, for his recent vote to reject an amendment that would have nullified implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's more strict Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, also known as the Utility MACT Rule. Coal producers have been fighting the rule.
"The Sherrod Browns of the world ... the Barack Obamas, and the Hollywood elites of the world who are trying to block coal mining, and block oil and gas exploration - they're not only on the wrong side of the issue, they are also on the wrong side of history," Mandel said.
He said energy issues typically have brought together the interests of each of the parties.
"But unfortunately, hyperpartisanship has taken over Washington," Mandel continued. "I think one of the main problems in Washington is while the American citizenry is becoming more and more Independent-minded, the politicians in Washington have come to care more about the 'D' or 'R' next to their name than doing the right thing.
"When I go to Washington, I'm going to stand up to the political bosses on both sides of the aisle - stand up to the media, stand up to the lobbyists - and tell them all to pound salt if they ever try to push me around. I'll look those lobbyists and political bosses in the eye, and tell them I don't work for them. I work for my boss - the 11.5 million people in the state of Ohio. No career politician or lobbyist is going to push me around because I've been through tougher stuff than this," he said.
Mandel continues to campaign outside of Columbus while he serves as treasurer, though he said he tries to strike a balance. He said being a husband to his wife, Ilana, is his first priority, and being Ohio treasurer is his second.
"My third priority is winning the U.S. Senate seat to change Washington," Mandel added. "It's looking like our race could very well determine the balance of the U.S. Senate. All eyes are on Ohio to determine the direction of the Senate - and the direction of our country when it comes to oil, gas and coal resources."