Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel quit the race Friday, citing his wife's health.
He had been hoping to unseat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat. Mandel came up short in 2012, when he lost by six percentage points to Brown.
The shocking move leaves Republicans with barely a month to find a formidable candidate in a key state. The filing deadline is Feb. 7.
There is another Republican running, a Cleveland banker and political novice Mike Gibbons.
Gibbons is a Republican, but Mandel was widely expected to give Brown a brutal race. Now? Who knows? Ohio Republicans have a month to come up with someone to run against Brown in a year where Trump will be crushing the GOP under the weight of his failures.
Good luck with that. As for Mandel?
Over a year ago, I launched a campaign for US Senate to make our state and country a better place for my children and yours. Since then, we’ve built a campaign that has us on a path to defeating Sherrod Brown this November. We’ve led him in every public poll and we’ve been the top fundraising Republican challenger in the country.
That being said, I was raised to believe that family always comes first. I still remember the first two words of advice my father gave me when Ilana and I had our first child: “Be there.” These were the same two words his father told him when I was born.
We recently learned that my wife has a health issue that will require my time, attention and presence. In other words, I need to be there.
Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign. For as long as that takes, whether it is months or years, it is important that I heed my dad’s advice and be there for my wife and our kids.
After recent discussions with our family and healthcare professionals, it has become clear to us that it’s no longer possible for me to be away from home and on the campaign trail for the time needed to run a US Senate race.
It sounds like whatever health issue his wife has, he's made the decision to drop out as a result. How true that is, we'll see.
But things just got a lot better for Brown's re-election chances.