Decision day here in pricy, nasty Ohio Senate race

JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio residents decide Tuesday whether to re-elect a U.S. senator labeled a career politician by his opponent or choose a Marine veteran labeled untrustworthy by his.

In one of the nastier election contests in recent memory, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is defending his seat against Republican challenger Josh Mandel (man-DEHL'), the state treasurer.

Outside groups have spent more than $30 million in the state in efforts to defeat the 59-year-old Brown, who has remained slightly ahead in polls. Brown's liberal record and surprise victory over then-incumbent Mike DeWine in 2006 made him a prime national target.

Brown allies spent about $4 million against Mandel, a 35-year-old U.S. Marine veteran.

The pair split on the federal auto industry bailout, which Brown supported and Mandel says he would have opposed.