© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sherrod Brown Says Democratic Candidates Still Not Connecting With Workers

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks at a Culinary Union hall Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Las Vegas.
John Locher
Associated Press
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks at a Culinary Union hall Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Las Vegas.

When he decided not to run for president, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) urged Democratic candidates to take up the cause he championed: workers. That’s proving to be a more difficult task than expected, though.

According to an articlethis week in the New York Times, voters from traditionally Democratic areas of Ohio who helped Donald Trump win the White House are still behind the president.

The story specifically mentions working class voters in the Mahoning Valley, where General Motors has laid off some 5,000 people over the past two years. David Petras, the former chair of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, said in the piece that Democrats lost touch with workers who “shower after work and not before work.”

Brown argues the Democratic candidates for president need to talk more about issues facing workers, like wages, benefits, childcare, and retirement security.

“At least 6-7 candidates have adopted my dignity of work theme,” Brown said. “They need to explore it more.” 

He thinks voters see Republicans, including Trump, are not addressing their needs. Brown cites the GOP tax law, the appointment of federal judges, and Trump’s actions after the closure of the Lordstown plant as examples.

“I think his support has declined and will decline further as he continues to betray workers,” Brown says.

A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.