Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) won’t run for U.S. Senate, leaving Josh Mandel to face Sen. Sherrod Brown (D)

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting today that  Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi will not run for the U.S. Senate next year against Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. This likely means that Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel will try to unseat Brown in what would be the second consecutive general election between the two.

Tiberi… told The Dispatch today that he opted to retain his House seat where he would have a say in overhauling the U.S. health-care system and tax code. Tiberi is a member of the tax-writing House and Ways Means Committee.

Tiberi said that he believes he “could have been the best candidate to win a seat in November of 2018 on our side,” but was concerned about splitting his energies between his work in the House and campaigning.

Now it will be Mandel and Brown as it was in 2012. Polling between the two shows a potentially close race, with a survey released in early May putting Mandel slightly ahead but within the margin of error. Brown beat Mandel by 6 points in 2012, a good year for Democrats with Obama on the ballot. 2018 could be another good year as midterms tend to favour the party out of power, and with Trump now floundering below 40 percent approval, this could be very close.

On the other hand, Ohio is becoming an increasingly tough state for Democrats.

Wouldn’t want to handicap this one, but I also wouldn’t want to guess what kind of trouble Trump will get himself into over the next year and a half.

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