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Sherrod Brown Not Running For President In 2020

John Minchillo
Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced Thursday he will not run for president in 2020.

Throughout the past couple of months, Brown has campaigned in four early primary and caucus states. But after careful thought and talking with his family, Brown says he thinks he can be more effective by staying in the U.S. Senate. 

"It's not fear of any specific opponent,” Brown says. “It wasn't process. It wasn't money."

Brown says he made his decision just a few days ago. He says his goal was never really to be president but to drive the national conversation to focus on issues involving working Ohioans. And he says his “Dignity of Work” tour has accomplished that, because many of the candidates in the race are now talking more about such issues.

"It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern," Brown said in a series of tweets Thursday. "That's why I'm confident it will continue to be a focus for Democrats in 2020. And I plan on making sure that happens I will keep calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism."

During a tour stop in Las Vegas last month, Brown promised to be "the most pro-union candidate" for president if he ran. Brown's central campaign issues included a higher minimum wage, increasing the earned income tax benefit, expanding health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, reducing drug prices, and paid family leave.

However, Brown declined to endorse other progressive initiatives popular among Democratic candidates, such as the "Green New Deal," "Medicare for All" and marijuana legalization.

If he entered the race, Brown would have needed to come up with millions of dollars to compete in a crowded primary field. Over a dozen candidates have so far entered the race, including fellow senators like Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Brown says he’s not endorsing any other Democratic candidate at this point and says he will help any of them as they talk about issues involving workers.

Brown won re-election in November 2018 to a third term in the Senate, defeating Republican challenger Jim Renacci. His was a rare Democratic victory in a state that elected Republicans to every statewide office, not including the Ohio Supreme Court, and with a margin of victory smaller than election experts expected.

If Brown were to leave the Senate before his six-year term ended, his replacement would be appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.
Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.