GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel’s staffers quit over toxic workplace allegedly caused by finance director he’s dating: report

Josh Mandel
Ohio GOP candidate for US Senate pictured here in October 2012. Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
  • At least two fundraisers on GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel’s team quit over a toxic workplace, sources told the Columbus Dispatch.
  • Sources alleged that environment was created by his campaign finance director, Rachel Wilson, who he is dating.
  • Wilson reportedly berated staffers in front of others and asked them to work 12-hour days.
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At least two staffers on Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel’s campaign quit over a toxic work environment that they say was created by his finance director whom he is dating, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch.

Three fundraisers have quit Mandel’s staff, but two among them accused Rachel Wilson, the candidate’s campaign finance director, of berating staffers in front of other people and forcing them to work 12-hour days, two sources told the Dispatch.

One source told the Dispatch that Wilson “very much created a traumatic and hostile work environment.”

Mandel’s campaign manager Scott Guthrie told the Dispatch that Wilson and Mandel had been dating since November 2020. He declined to comment to the Dispatch on the specific allegations about the workplace.

One source told the Dispatch that Mandel and Wilson were known to openly fight in blowout shouting matches in the office in front of other staffers, saying, “They’d go out in the hallway and scream at each other.”

In 2017, during Mandel’s second run for Senate against Sen. Sherrod Brown, Wilson was also captured on camera shoving a Democratic party tracker, a person who attends and films events for an opposing candidate. Mandel ended up dropping out of that race in January 2018, citing a family health issue.

Mandel, a former Ohio state treasurer and state representative, is now running for the GOP primary in the open race to replace Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who is retiring in 2022.

The Mandel campaign on Tuesday said it raised $1.3 million in 2021’s second fundraising quarter.

Mandel, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, is competing in a crowded field with former state GOP chair Jane Timken and businessmen Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno, with “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance also expected to jump into the race.

The most recent internal poll of the GOP Senate primary commissioned by Mandel’s campaign in early June showed him leading the rest of the field by a wide margin, with over a third of likely GOP primary voters still undecided.