COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Executives at 10 of the 17 manufacturing companies whose workers won a new award established by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DEHL') have donated to Republican candidates, including Mandel himself.
Award recipients themselves are mostly Democrats or independents.
A review finds Mandel's re-election campaign received donations from executives at three firms shortly after their skilled-trades employees were recognized.
The findings raise questions about whether Mandel, facing Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich this fall, is using the nonmonetary Ohio Strong Award to reward and attract political contributors.
Mandel said any cross-section of American companies leans Republican at the top, but the program is intended to raise the profile of skilled-trades workers and encourage careers in manufacturing.
Companies with Republican ties include Lima-based American Trim, Taylor-Winfield Technologies in Youngstown and Toledo Metal Spinning.