Josh Mandel plots his next move while licking wounds from U.S. Senate loss

What’s next for Josh Mandel?

After winning election to statewide office two years ago at age 33, Mandel was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party.

On Tuesday, Ohio voters halted Mandel’s ascension and rejected his bid for the U.S. Senate. Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown won by a 50-45 margin.

Mandel was not overly reflective on Wednesday in an interview about his loss and the future. Falling into a habit displayed on the campaign trail that earned him a reputation for sounding rehearsed, Mandel repeated cliches from his concession speech about a “David versus Goliath fight” and leaving “it all on the field.”

Mandel said he plans to run for re-election as Ohio treasurer in 2014 and will remain focused on running that office.

“This is not the first time in my life when I’ve been knocked on my butt and it won’t be the last time either,” he said.

However, it was the first electoral loss for Mandel, who has won races for Lyndhurst City Council, state representative and, in 2010, Ohio treasurer.

The Senate race was both nasty and pricey. Mandel spent more than $12.6 million on his campaign, and outside groups put another $31 million into television and radio ads casting Brown as a far-left career politician out of touch with Ohio’s values. Brown spent $13.9 million and outside groups spent about $12 million against Mandel, according to Mandel’s campaign.