Tensions boiled over as Republican Ohio senate candidate Josh Mandel jumped up from his seat and made threatening remarks to his opponent, Mike Gibbons, at the Ohio Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Forum on Friday.
The candidates argued over Mandel’s accusations that his opponent “made millions” off of Chinese petroleum stock, which Gibbons denied.
“You may not understand this because you’ve never worked in the private sector in your entire life,” Gibbons exclaimed. The exchange immediately escalated as Mandel rushed out of his seat and angrily stood directly in Gibbons’ face.
“Two tours in Iraq, don’t tell me I haven’t worked,” Mandel yelled.
“You don’t know squat,” Gibbons retaliated.
The moderator quickly interfered to ease tensions by directing Mandel back to his seat. The candidate began to sit down when Gibbons repeated, “You don’t know squat.” (RELATED: New Ohio Senate Poll Shows More Bad News For JD Vance)
“Two tours in Iraq, don’t tell me I haven’t worked,” Mandel repeated. “You back off. Watch, watch. You’re dealing with the wrong guy. You watch what happens, p*ssy. You watch what happens.”
Candidate J.D. Vance called the exchange ridiculous and told his two opponents to sit down.
“Josh Mandel is an unhinged, unfit, and flailing — because he’s losing,” Gibbons said in a statement. “We can’t leave this race to child-like candidates. We need an adult in the room and Josh Mandel has proven that he is not capable of being that for Ohioans.”
Josh Mandel is unhinged, unfit, and flailing – because he’s losing.
— Mike Gibbons (@MikeGibbonsOH) March 18, 2022
“Mike Gibbons got upset tonight that he was called out for his investments in Chinese oil,” Scott Guthrie, Mandel’s campaign manager, said in statement obtained by the Daily Caller. “He claims not to remember the investment, but it’s part of a pattern of Gibbon’s entire career making money by taking American companies and selling them to foreign interests. While Ohians are struggling to make ends meet in Joe Biden’s America, Mike Gibbons spent his entire career profiting by shipping jobs overseas and investing in places like China and Russia.”
Recent polling found Gibbon holding a slight lead in the Senate race, with Mandel trailing him by a few percentage points. Gibbons holds an average of 20%, Mandel with 16%, Vance with 13% and Jane Timken with 9% as of March 9.