It’s increasingly likely that Republicans will not be able to avoid a primary in Ohio, where the second GOP candidate filed his paperwork this month to challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D).
Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin (R) has opened up a campaign committee to explore the race, according to the Toledo Blade. He joins state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R), who has also filed his paperwork to run but has not officially announced a bid yet.
“Establishing Team Coughlin allows me to give the race careful consideration and to raise money. While I have no formal announcement planned at this time, I am getting a very positive response,” Coughlin told the Blade.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is also considering a campaign for Senate, but he did not immediately return a request for comment Monday morning.
Democrats didn’t waste any time in dismissing Coughlin’s candidacy.
“Elections are about choices. Whether the Republicans nominate an extreme right-wing candidate like Kevin Coughlin, George Bush’s best friend Ken Blackwell, or Josh Mandel, whose political ambition is more important to him than his promise to serve a full term, the choice in this race will be clear,” Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Justin Barasky said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.