Josh Mandel Releases Original Photo with Black Marines After Photoshop Rumor

Josh Mandel

Getty Josh Mandel speaks at the FreedomWorks Forum for Ohio's Republican Senate Candidates on March 18, 2022.

After Senate candidate Josh Mandel released a new campaign ad, rumors began circulating that that a photo showing him with a group of Black Marines was photoshopped. His campaign released the original picture to help debunk those claims.

The Campaign Shared the Original Photo

Natalie Allison of Politico tweeted the original photo next to the one that appeared in the campaign ad. She said it appeared that Mandel’s campaign did not photoshop his face onto a Black man’s body, but a darkening filter was used which inadvertently darkened his hands.

She wrote, “You folks asked if Josh Mandel’s campaign photoshopped his head onto a Black man, and I looked for answers. They did not, the campaign says. It appears a darkening filter was used on the ad. Here’s the original photo for comparison.”

She then continued, writing: “The Mandel Iraq photo truthers on this platform are pushing a pretty strange theory. Is the argument that you think he didn’t actually serve with Marines who were black? It really doesn’t make a lot of sense… All I want today is the Mandel photo discourse on here to stop. Can we move on to something else please.”

Kevin O’Neil on Twitter pointed out that it wasn’t technically a darkening filter, but instead they increased the contrast because the original photo was in low light.

Snopes also reported that the picture was not photoshopped. Snopes also reported that Mandel enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 2000 and served two tours in Iraq.

The Photo Was Shown in Mandel’s Campaign Ad

The photo was part of Mandel’s campaign ad, which you can see above.

The ad included footage of Mandel at the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the Bloody Sunday civil rights march took place, HuffPost reported. Mandel argued in the ad that critical race theory shouldn’t be taught in schools.

Mandel quoted Martin Luther King in the ad, saying, “Martin Luther King marched right here so skin color wouldn’t matter.” Mandel then tweeted, “Thank you @BerniceKing @TheKingCenter for motivating me to film my ad. My visit to Selma was powerful and inspiring and I look forward to returning and bringing my kids.”

King’s daughter, Bernice King, tweeted a disagreement with the ad.

She wrote, “Josh: Regretfully, I do not believe that I or @TheKingCenter legitimately motivated you to film this ad, as it is in opposition to nonviolence and to much of what my father taught. I encourage you to study my father/nonviolence in full.”

Mandel replied, “Your father knew the importance of the Second Amendment when he tried to exercise his right to self-defense and was wrongly denied a gun permit by anti-gun racists. Firearms ≠ violence. Study your history better @BerniceKing.”

To which King replied with quotes from her father’s book, writing, “My father’s own words from his book, ‘Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story.’ I encourage you to read the entire book.”

According to Mandel’s website, he’s running for Ohio Senate on a pro-God, pro-gun, and Pro-Trump platform.

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