With days to go before the 2012 elections, Ohio Senate hopeful Josh Mandel is taking heat from an unexpected source: his in-laws.

On Monday, Mandel's wife's cousins took out an ad in the Cleveland Jewish News blasting Mandel for his anti-gay policies. Nine cousins signed the open letter, including members of the Ratner family, a prominent Jewish family in Cleveland that Mandel married into, according to Salon.

In the letter, Mandel's relatives criticize his opposition to same-sex marriage and his stated belief that Don't Ask Don't Tell, the military policy overturned by Obama that prevented gays from serving openly in the military, should be reinstated. On both points, the letter turns personal, noting how Mandel's anti-gay policies would directly affect members of his family.

"Your cousins, Ellen Ratner and Cholene Espinoza, are among the many wonderful couples whose rights you do not recognize," the letter reads. "Their wedding, like yours, was a beautiful and happy occasion for all of us in our family. It hurts us that you would embrace discrimination against them and countless other loving couples in Ohio and around the country.


Mandel, the state Treasurer in Ohio, is running to unseat Sherrod Brown (D) in a high-profile race. Republicans had viewed Brown as highly vulnerable heading into the election cycle, though polls have consistently showed Brown posting strong leads over his rival.