Brown out as presidential candidate
By David Skolnick
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will not run for president in 2020.
Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, announced Thursday that he has “decided the best place for me to continue fighting for Ohio and for the dignity of workers across the country, all workers, is to stay in the U.S. Senate.”
He said he made the decision Wednesday after saying as recently as a few days ago that he would decide whether he’d run by the end of this month.
Brown, who was re-elected to the Senate to a third six-year term last year, had recently visited several early primary/caucus states including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
“Being president isn’t something I have dreamed of my whole life or even for years,” Brown said. “My goal for our tour is to make the dignity of work the centerpiece of the Democrats’ 2020 campaign because I believe that’s the way to beat Donald Trump.”
Brown said he “wrestled” with the decision, but “it’s not fear of any specific opponent, it wasn’t process, it wasn’t money” that led him to opt not to run.
“I will keep calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism,” he said. “I will keep fighting for all workers across the country. And I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate in 2020. The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.”
Brown said he’ll “continue to hold [Trump] accountable for betraying workers in Ohio and across the country.”
When asked if he would run for vice president, Brown said he doesn’t “aspire to be vice president” and that he’s “not thinking about that. It’s just not a concern of mine right now. I want to stay in the arena and fight.”
He added: “I don’t think a presidential candidate would want to give up a [Democratic] Senate seat to choose me anyway” if they won.
In Ohio, the governor – Republican Mike DeWine, who, ironically, lost his Senate seat to Brown in the 2006 election – chooses who fills vacant Senate seats.
Brown was considered in 2016 by Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, as a vice presidential running mate, but she opted for U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.
Brown said on Nov. 12, 2018, less than a week after winning his third term to the Senate, that he was considering a presidential run.
There are several Democrats who have already announced their plans to run for president, including U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Corey Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Also, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, said he’ll run as a Democrat – as he did in 2016 – for the party’s presidential nomination.
Brown said he’s not backing a specific candidate for the Democratic nomination.