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Political Pulse: Mandel out of Senate race; GOP tax plan is law of land

Political Pulse is a weekly column with the goal of giving objective, to-the-point information to readers on current political events.

Ohio’s 2018 Races

Josh Mandel, the Republican state treasurer and challenger to Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, dropped out of the race citing his wife’s health issues. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

A flurry of action has occurred in the Senate race during the last week as the Feb.7 deadline to file for  2018 fast approaches.

Josh Mandel, the Republican state treasurer and former challenger to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, dropped out of the race, citing his wife’s health issues.

While all thoughts are with the Mandel family, as Urban Meyer would say, it’s time for the next man up for the GOP.

With many assuming the powerful ticket of Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted will win the Republican primary for the governor’s race, speculation has begun as to whether Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor or U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci will drop out of that race to take on Brown for the Senate.

Taylor has shown no indication she would switch races, while Renacci said he would switch if asked directly by President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile on the Democratic side, two-time failed presidential candidate and former Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich threw his hat into the crowded primary for governor while Richard Cordray officially announced his candidacy with fellow Obama-era official Betty Sutton as his running mate.

Tax Bill

Evan Johnson, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in physics, holds a sign in the Ohio Union Monday at a protest against the tax bill proposed by Congressional Republicans. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Editor-in-Chief

While students were enjoying winter break, a new tax bill was passed into law in Washington.

The GOP-backed bill passed with no support from Democrats. Republicans said the bill will give more money back to the middle class, while Democrats derided it as a tax cut for the wealthy.

Proponents of the bill, like Rea Hederman, a tax expert at the right-leaning think tank The Buckeye Institute, hail the bill as an improvement over current law.

“It broadens the tax base for individual filers,” Hederman said. “By capping some deductions the tax code will no longer create some distortions like subsidizing large expensive houses. The bill also reduces the corporate tax rate to bring America’s statutory rate to where it is on par with other developed nations.”

Meanwhile, the bill’s detractors, like Amy Hanauer, executive director of left-leaning Policy Matters Ohio, say the plan hurts families.

“Ohio’s Republican congressional delegation chose to hurt Ohio families today with a tax scheme that adds $1.5 trillion to our deficit, forces devastating cuts to key parts of what America provides to our people, and ultimately increases taxes for many Ohio families,” Hanauer said in a statement.

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