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COLUMBUS-- Voters have apparently decided to send U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown back to Washington despite a bitter, extremely expensive campaign to oust him.
That may have denied Republicans a potential path to adding control of the upper chamber to their existing hold on the House.
Josh Mandel, a rapidly rising star in GOP circles after capturing the Ohio Treasurer’s office in his first statewide run in 2010, came up short despite an influx of out-of-state, thirty party campaign cash designed to boost his name and trounce the unabashedly liberal Democratic incumbent.
With 53 percent of the unofficial vote reported , Mr. Brown had 50 percent to Mr. Mandel’s 45 percent and independent Scott Ruper's 5 percent.
“Ohio is in the middle of American, and the middle-class won—again,” Mr. Brown, his voice even raspier than normal, told the crowd in his victory speech at the Ohio Democratic Party celebration in Columbus.
“We fought back against secretive out-of-state forces that worked to impose their will upon our state,” he said. “That's nothing new.”
His voice was so hoarse that he had turn the microphone over to his wife, Connie Schultz, who read the rest of his speech. She said the race was about the resurgence of American manufacturing, specifically mentioned the Toledo-built Jeep and stressing that it is built in America, an apparent reference to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's ads suggesting that production could be moved to China.