Incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is taking on his Republican opponent's hiring practices at the state treasury in his first TV ad of the campaign.
The 30-second spot, called "How to Succeed," began airing Thursday on TV and cable stations statewide. It criticizes Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for paying state salaries of between $90,000 and $150,000 to a former campaign manager, a college friend and a political aide. It notes the 26-year-old aide was made state director of debt management despite lacking finance experience.
Mandel's campaign says Brown went negative to distract from his record. Brown's campaign says outside groups have already spent $5 million on Mandel's behalf attacking Brown, who is a former state secretary and congressman.
The contest is one of the nation's most closely watched Senate races.