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Josh Mandel

Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 17th district
In office
2007 -
Preceded by Jim Trakas

Political party Republican
Residence Lyndhurst, Ohio
Alma mater Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University
Profession U.S. Marines Corps Reservist
Religion Jewish

Josh Mandel is a Republican Ohio state representative and veteran of the War on Terror, serving two tours of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Marine Intelligence Specialist. He is a candidate for the Ohio state Treasurer position in 2010.



Mandel holds a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University, where he served two terms as the undergraduate Student Government President, and also holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.[1]


Mandel and his wife Ilana reside in Lyndhurst, Ohio, and were married August 28, 2008, in Jerusalem.[2]

Mandel's family emigrated to the United States. His grandfather Joe is from Poland, who is a Holocaust survivor, and his grandmother Fernanda is from Italy, who was hid by a Catholic family during World War II from the Nazis.[3] In a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he said the tribulations of his grandparents and family inspired him to public service.[3]

His grandfather Harold served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Military service

Mandel enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, where he served eight years, including times as an Intelligence Specialist, having graduated first in his class from Marine Corps Boot Camp and first in his class from Marine Corps Intelligence School. His Marine Corps duty included two tours in Iraq, where he operated throughout the Al Anbar Province. During both tours, Mandel was awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for "superior performance of his duties."[1][4]

Ohio Legislator

He currently serves as State Representative from the 17th Ohio House District. His district is located in Southeast Cuyahoga County and borders Medina, Summit, Geauga and Portage Counties. The district includes 17 communities, ranging from small townships to medium-sized cities. He was first elected State Representative in 2006, knocking on 19,679 doors and wearing out three pairs of shoes.[citation needed] In 2008 he was re-elected to a second term, representing a district with a 2:1 Democrat to Republican voter ratio.[1]


Iran divestment legislation

Mandel's first piece of legislation as a State Representative, H.B. 151, was an initiative to force the multibillion dollar Ohio pension funds to divest from companies doing business in Iran. He led this bipartisan effort to make Ohio the first state in the nation to divest from Iran, but the legislation was never signed into law due to a compromise worked out between state pension executives and Ohio House leadership.[5] Then-Speaker of the Ohio House Jon Husted brokered a deal to drop half of the state's investments in Iran and Sudan with the eventual goal of removing all investment from the two countries.[6]

Since the authoring of H.B. 151, Mandel has worked with legislators and State Treasurers across the country to support Iran divestment nationwide, and today over a dozen states have embarked on terror-free investment initiatives. Companies invested in Iran being targeted through such legislation nationally include Royal Dutch Shell, Gazprom, Lukoil, Norsk Hydro, Petronas, and Sinopec.[7] The divestment initiatives are endorsed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League.[8]

Due to his leadership on this and other issues, Mandel was named legislative "Rookie of The Year" by the non-partisan Columbus Monthly Magazine and "Watchdog of the Treasury" by the United Conservatives of Ohio.

Investment oversight

Through his role as a member of the House Insurance Committee, Mandel participated in the reconstruction of investment oversight for the multi-billion dollar Bureau of Workers' Compensation investment fund. This overhaul of BWC investment oversight was the Ohio Legislature's response to the BWC investment scandals of the past decade. Mandel has also served as Vice-Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee and as a member of the Criminal Justice and Judiciary Committees.[1]

Housing and Employment Discrimination

In September 2009, Mandel was criticized by the Ohio Democratic Party and Equality Ohio for allegedly switching his position and voting against a bill that would have outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing and employment. Mandel had previously stated his support for such legislation.[9]

In 2000, as President of the Undergraduate Student Government at Ohio State, Mandel advocated for same-sex partner benefits. He was quoted as saying "Students want it, students deserve it, and the university has a responsibility to provide it."[10]

Voting record

In the 128th Assembly, Mandel was one of only 19 house members to vote against HB108, a bill to make cockfighting a felony.[11] Mandel defended his vote by stating that he believed the General Assembly's time would be better spent focused on job creation, keeping people from leaving the state and returning fiscal responsibility to state government.[12] He was one of only 29 members to oppose HB2, which included $1.4 billion for Ohio's first responders and highway patrol, and $5.7 billion in new transportation projects, estimated to create thousands of jobs.[13][14] Mandel also opposed HB9, a tenant's protection bill, which forced rental property owners to notify tenants of a foreclosure on the property they resided in and allowed renters to change their leases on said property to month-to-month agreements.[15] He was one of only 25 members to oppose HB12, which banned credit card solicitations on college campuses.[16]

In the 127th Assembly, Mandel, along with other members of the Ohio House who served in Iraq, were excused from voting on HB649 in December 2008, which provided payments to military veterans of the Middle East wars and compensation to families who had lost loved ones in the conflicts.[17][18]

Lyndhurst Councilman

Mandel's previous elected experience includes service as a Lyndhurst City Councilman, where he was elected in 2003 with more votes than any candidate for Council or Mayor. As Councilman, Mandel served three years on the Finance Committee, dealing with issues including long-term fiscal forecasting, municipal investment strategy and bond-rating protections. Additionally, Mandel introduced and led the fight for the first Property Tax Rollback in Lyndhurst history, which currently remains one of the only property tax rollbacks in Ohio history.[1]


In 2006, Adam Hewitt of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus circulated an email accusing Mandel of soliciting for and receiving donations from Tom Noe in 2003, who was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for political corruption.[19]

Since 2006, he has accepted $1200 from the GO GO PAC,[20] ran by major Republican donor Tom Brennan. In 2008, Republican candidates were forced to forfeit Brennan's campaign donations or risk an ethics investigation following accusations of campaign finance violations.[21] Mandel has received donations of $7000 from Robert E. Murray, and $19,500 from Murray Energy PAC since 2005.[20]

Current Middle East operations

Mandel believes in the military operations being conducted in the Middle East. In October 2009, he appeared on the show "FOX & Friends" stating his support for the military surge plan to Afghanistan.[22] In an interview at the Republican Jewish Coalition quarterly meeting in Ft. Lauderdale in 2009, Mandel thanked former President George W. Bush for his support on Iraq, and would not have "played Monday morning quarterback" on the decisions concerning the war, offering no dissent on the operation.[23]



Mandel was a member of the AIPAC while studying at Ohio State, before joining the military.[24] In 2008, he attended the 2008 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C, where he gave an address, and was quoted as saying "It was inspiring, the young people so motivated and gung ho about strengthening the Israel-United States relationship...Israel is our best friend and ally in the Middle East and it’s important that we maintain a strong and lasting relationship with them."[24]

At this conference, Mandel stated Iran was a threat, and discussed his divestment initiatives as a legislator in Ohio.[25]

Operation Cast Lead

In February 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli government issued a statement thanking Mandel for his support of the operation.[26]

World Alliance for Israel PAC

In May 2009, Mandel was a panel participant at the 2009 Awards and Installation Dinner held by the World Alliance for Israel PAC in the Los Angeles area.[27]

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Josh", Josh Mandel. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  2. ^ "Overseas "I Do" Ilana & Josh", Elegant Weddings, August 28, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Mandel speech before Republican Jewish Coalition", YouTube. July 3, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  4. ^ "Josh Mandel, Representative", Ohio House of Representatives. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  5. ^ "HB 151", Ohio State Legislature. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  6. ^ "Arm-twisting gets Ohio pensions to divest from Iran, Sudan", Columbus Dispatch. June 7, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  7. ^ Iran Divestment Policy Discussion, University of Syracuse. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  8. ^ "Neo-Cons Driving Iran Divestment Campaign", IPS. 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  9. ^ "No longer supporting Mandel", Cleveland Jewish News. October 23, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  10. ^ "USG fights for domestic benefits", The Lantern. April 27, 2000. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  11. ^ "Cockfighting should be a felony in Ohio". Cleveland Plain Dealer. December 10, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "2009 House Bill 2 (House Roll Call)", Ohio Votes. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  14. ^ "Governor Signs Budget Transportation Bill", Office of the Ohio Governor. April 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  15. ^ "2009 House Bill 9 (Mandate property owners notify renters of foreclosure)", Ohio Votes. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  16. ^ "2009 House Bill 12 (Prohibit credit card marketing on college campuses)", Ohio Votes. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  17. ^ "Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund", Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  18. ^ [1], Ohio House of Representatives Journal December 16, 2008.
  19. ^ "Tough questions scare Mandel out of debate", Write Like She Talks. October 16, 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  20. ^ a b Campaign Finance Database Search: Mandel, Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  21. ^ "Ohio Republican Campaigns to Return $30,000 to PACs of Charter School Kingpin", Now Public. July 1, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  22. ^ "FOX and Friends", YouTube. October 7, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  23. ^ "My Interview With Josh Mandel", THE TYGRRRR EXPRESS. March 30, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  24. ^ a b "AIPAC and Israeli Advocacy Impacts Young Adults", David's Voice, July 20, 2008.
  25. ^ "Jewish and Israel News", YouTube. May 4, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  26. ^ "Latest News From Israel", Israel Consulate General, Philadelphia. February 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  27. ^ "Black, Jewish and WAIPAC", Jewish Journal. May 6, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.


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