Senate

Two Frauds Escalate Attacks in Ohio’s GOP Senate Primary

Back-and-forth attacks over tech billionaire Peter Thiel show Ohio’s Republican primary is only going to get nastier in the months ahead

The latest developments in Ohio’s messy Republican U.S. Senate primary show an ugly race further devolving into an all-out brawl between the various candidates.

In the last week, Josh Mandel has dramatically ramped up his attacks on J.D. Vance and surveillance-tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s efforts to buy the Senate primary for his former employee.

Here’s what you may have missed:

  • Last week, during an interview with Steve Bannon — who’s compared the GOP primary election to “Lord of the Flies” — Mandel hammered Vance as a “fraud” (2 times), a “phony” (3 times), and “the biggest hypocrite,” spotlighting not just Vance’s Silicon Valley private equity ties, but also his $10 million-and-counting support from a super PAC funded by surveillance tech-billionaire and “Facebook board member” Peter Thiel.
  • Proving Mandel’s point, The Daily Beast today reported that despite trying to cover up his anti-Trump past, “[Vance] forgot to scrub” his anti-Trump “liked” tweets — including “likes” expressing support for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, mocking Melania Trump, and calling the former president “psychologically disturbed.”
  • Unfortunately for Ohioans, Josh Mandel is of course just as much a fraud as JD Vance. A new report from Axios — seemingly based on texts supplied to Axios by Peter Thiel himself (presumably to help his candidate, Vance) — Mandel reportedly made “multiple overtures […]  to Thiel early in the campaign,” seeking his support in the race.

Ohio’s Republican Senate primary has been a disaster for months, and this latest dustup shows that things are only going to get nastier, more chaotic, and more personal between Bernie Moreno, Jane Timken, Josh Mandel, JD Vance, and Mike Gibbons in the months ahead.