Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is weighing a presidential run

November 12, 2018

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is weighing a presidential run

WASHINGTON, D. C. - After comfortably winning re-election to his U.S. Senate seat last week in a state that President Donald Trump won comfortably two years ago, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is weighing a run for president.

In an interview with Cleveland.com, Brown said that he’s heard from an “overwhelming” number of people who have told him he should think of a presidential run, and that he and his family intend to discuss it over the holidays, when his children and grandchildren will be around.

“This will very much be a family decision,” said Brown. “It would affect a decade of our lives. It is a very personal, serious decision.”

Brown said he believes the message of worker empowerment that he espoused in this year’s re-election should be a blueprint for the national Democrats to win back the White House in 2020 and that he’d be happy if his message is adopted by other Democrats running for president.

“My message clearly appeals to Democrats, Republicans and independents,” said Brown. “We showed you can get votes by being authentic and standing up for workers. People in Washington don’t understand the dignity of work.” 

In a state where Republicans won all but a few statewide offices in last week’s election, Brown won more than 53 percent of the vote against his Republican challenger, Wadsworth GOP Rep. Jim Renacci, who aligned himself with Trump.

Brown said that elected officials inside and outside Ohio have approached him about running for president, as have activists and labor union members and leaders, although he wouldn’t reveal their names.

“For a progressive to win a state Donald Trump carried by almost double digits by a pretty big margin tells me you can be a progressive, you can stand up for women’s rights, gay rights and civil rights, and not compromise on these core values and still win in a state that Trump won decisively,” said Brown.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who lost the 2016 GOP presidential nomination to Trump, and Niles-area Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, whose worker-empowerment message is similar to Brown’s, have also indicated they’re exploring presidential runs.

If he runs for president, Brown said he expects that Trump “who has made a career of attacking people personally” would recycle abuse allegations from his 1980s divorce that Renacci tried to use to discredit him. Renacci’s ex-wife said she supported Brown’s campaign, asked Renacci to stop, and issued a statement that said “disparaging my family for political gain is disgusting.”

“My opponent attacked my family, while we talked about what I would do in support of Ohio families,” said Brown. “The voters chose to vote for the candidate who wants to support Ohio families.”

Update hourly