One of the nastiest and closely watched campaigns for U.S. Senate came to an end with Sherrod Brown emerging as the victor.
It's been a long ride for the State Treasurer but like many it all comes down to today.
Josh Mandel spent part of his day in Columbus Monday night with about 10,000 people who came to see Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Romney came into the Landmark Aviation Port Columbus International Airport just before 8 p.m. Monday with his private plane surrounded by screaming supporters. About 2,000 people were unable to get into the building but stayed anyway on the outside listening in on the large speakers.
Hoping to capture some of that electricity is Mandel. He told the crowd earlier about how at one point he was down 17 points in the polls to Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Mandel, who's made joking about his boyish looks part of his strategy, told the crowd of his steady rise since last year.
"By Thanksgiving we were down 15 points. By the Super Bowl we were down 12 points. Spring training it was 10," he said as the crowd waited in anticipation for what they already knew.
"A month ago it was 7 and now we are tied." The crowd erupted with signs and flags waving making the room look like a sea of red, white and blue. The poll Mandel cited was updated on Monday. It showed Brown with a 2 point lead.
Talking with one of his staffers, he said their team feels that the better Mitt Romney does the better Mandel will do. The staffer seemed confident that he would do better than expected.
Surprisingly, If president Obama wins Ohio, Mandel himself feels like he could still eek out a victory. The Huffington Post posted a quote from Mandel on its website late Monday night. The article quotes him as saying, "A lot of Cleveland voters say they are voting for Obama and me."
It will be interesting how that quote goes over with the Romney campaign especially since they flew back into Cleveland Tuesday making that final push for whoever hasn't made up their mind by now.
Mandel is a 35-year-old born in Cleveland and went to Beachwood High School where he was a quarterback of the team. He graduated from Ohio State and then went to Case Western Reserve for law school. For eight years, he served in the United States Marines and during his second tour he served in the city of Haditha. His rise through the political ranks has been quick and deliberate.
His first political office was in Lyndhurst, where he served as a councilman for three years. Next, he won a seat with the Ohio House of Representatives in 2006. Mandel said he knocked on 19,679 doors and wore out three pairs of shoes as he was campaigning for votes. By 2009, Mandel set his sights a little higher as he announced on the Web that he was running for State Treasurer. He ran into some controversy because he labeled his opponent Kevin Boyce, as a Muslim. Boyce is an African Methodist Episcopal. On Election Day, Mandel won by 14 points.
On March 1 of this year, Mandel set sail on a much taller adventure. He announced he was taking on Sen. Brown for a seat in the United States Senate. His candidacy has not gone unnoticed as he has received endorsements from power houses in the Republican party. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
The Romney Campaign has been talking a lot about momentum as the day of reckoning is now here.
Mandel seems to hope momentum is on his side no matter who his home state picks for the top job in the land
. He told the Huffington Post, "The only poll we are really paying attention to now is [today], Election Day."
Mandel is expected to be in Columbus with fellow Republican leaders watching the results come in.
Rep. Marcia Fudge is seeking re-election in Ohio's 11th Congressional District.