Sherrod Brown "has been running for public office since Richard Nixon was president."

Josh Mandel on Monday, November 14th, 2011 in a radio show

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has been seeking public office since Nixon's administration

In a gushing interview on radio’s Rick Amato Show — guest-hosted by conservative Howard Kooligan — Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel made disparaging remarks about U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democrat he hopes to unseat next year.

Some of those remarks have already gone through the Truth-O-Meter and we won’t rehash them here, but a simple declarative statement Mandel made shortly after calling Brown a "radical extremist" caught the attention of PolitiFact Ohio.

Mandel said that Brown "has been running for public office since Richard Nixon was president."

That’s a long career -- one that crosses the tenure of eight presidents. PolitiFact Ohio thought it would be worth checking given that Mandel, who is much younger than Brown, has gotten off to a pretty early start on his political career as well.

We’ll say right off the bat that Mandel is correct.

Richard Nixon resigned as president of the United States on Aug. 9, 1974. Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Brown was already a candidate to represent the 61st District of the Ohio House of Representatives. Brown won the general election that November and took office on Jan. 3, 1975.

After eight years in the Statehouse, Brown went on to serve as Ohio Secretary of State for another eight years before losing re-election to Bob Taft. After two years out of office, Brown was elected to Congress. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives until being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

So Mandel is clearly labeling Brown as a career politician. Is a long political career a bad thing? That’s not for PolitiFact to say. But it’s worth noting that Mandel, 34, could find himself in a similar position as Brown, 59, if he continues in politics.

Mandel started running for political office at age 25 when he sought a seat on the Lyndhurst City Council. He was elected in 2003 and has held some form of public office ever since (interrupted twice by tours of Iraq as a Marine).

After three years on council, Mandel ran successfully for the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He was elected Ohio Treasurer in 2010, but will leave before his term expires if he beats Brown.

All of which means that if he remains in politics, in 25 years a young upstart Democrat might make light of the fact that Mandel has been running for public office since George W. Bush’s first term.

We can’t predict how long Mandel will keep running for office, but we can say that his statement about Brown is accurate. On the Truth-O-Meter it rates True.