GOP candidates fight over populist lane

Josh Mandel is making his third run for U.S. Senate.

Josh Mandel boasts that he's been a populist for two decades.

The former state treasurer has painted himself as a disrupter of the status quo since he launched his third bid for U.S. Senate this year. From city council to the state Legislature, Mandel said, he raised a middle finger to the establishment and advocated for constituents.

"I did not owe anything to anybody," he said of his 2006 Ohio House bid. "My only commitment was to the people."

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But Mandel is hardly the only Republican candidate in the Senate race running on the message that propelled former President Donald Trump to office. Observers say it's a strategy that works in Ohio as the GOP shifts right and away from politicians like Sen. Rob Portman – but which candidate can make it work remains to be seen. 

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