WASHINGTON—Republican Josh Mandel promised on Monday to limit himself to two terms if he wins a seat in the U.S. Senate.
At a news conference in Columbus, Mandel signed a term-limit pledge and endorsed a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress. Mandel, Ohio’s state treasurer, is challenging incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in the 2018 elections.
“In order to bring change to Washington, we must change the way business is done there,” Mandel said in a statement on Monday. “For too long, career Washington politicians have gone there saying they’ll do one thing and breaking their promise to voters by doing another.”
Mandel called out Brown on the issue, noting the Ohio Democrat had once embraced term limits only to reverse himself later. Brown said in 1992 that supported a 12-year limit on congressional service. He is now seeking a third term in the Senate after serving 14 years in the House.
In a 2004 interview with the Associated Press, Brown said he changed his mind about term limits after seeing the impact they had on the Ohio state legislature. He argued that after term limits were adopted, state legislators spent more time learning the ropes and trying to get re-elected than they did grappling with substantive policy issues.
Democrats blasted Mandel's promise as a "gimmick" and noted that Mandel started running for the Senate soon after winning his first bid as Ohio's treasurer.
“Immediately after being sworn in as treasurer, Josh Mandel broke his sham 2010 pledge and began campaigning for a new office," said Jake Strassberger, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party. “There is no reason to believe today’s gimmick is anything but an attempt to distract from the 'smackdown' Josh is receiving from his own party for dodging independent scrutiny to spend $1.84 million of taxpayer money on self-promotional TV ads."