Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio urged supporters gathered in Centerville on Friday to elect Josh Mandel to the U.S. Senate to help break partisan gridlock that Rubio blamed on the Democrats.
Rubio spoke before about 100 people outside GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters in Centerville. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, also spoke, calling Tuesday's voting a "crucial election." Democrat Sharen Neuhardt, an attorney, is challenging Turner to represent the 10th District in Congress.
Rubio said he supports Ohio Treasurer Mandel in his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Rubio said Democrats have paralyzed the Senate and Mandel would be critical to Republicans gaining a majority.
"We could use some Ohio commonsense" in the Senate, said Rubio, a freshman senator from Florida once mentioned as a possible Romney runningmate. Rubio was in town to campaign for Mandel and Romney, who appeared at a large rally in West Chester Twp. Friday night.
Rubio said the country is running out of time to solve its problems. He advocated a pro-energy policy, reforming the tax code and repealing health care reform.
Rubio praised Mandel's work as Ohio treasurer, and in turn Mandel praised Rubio's conservative credentials and for having "ice in his veins when it comes to making decisions."
Brown's spokesman Justin Barasky called Mandel "a political opportunist who voted in lockstep with his party while a member of the statehouse and has not wavered from the party line during this campaign...."
"Josh Mandel's record in the treasurer's office is one of absenteeism and cronyism and he should be embarrassed and apologetic for the last few years," Barasky said. "Ohioans deserve a treasurer who can be trusted to show up for work."
Multiple polls show Brown leading Mandel -- with Real Clear Politics averaging those polls to show a 5.5 percent lead for Brown -- but Mandel said that he is 2 points ahead of Brown in the polls.
Brown visited Dayton on Thursday, meeting with supporters at the Greater Dayton Rec Center, and Mandel was in town on Monday greeting diners with Gov. John Kaisch at The Amber Rose restaurant.
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