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Midwestern populist Sen. Sherrod Brown decides against running for president

09 March 2019

His decision is certain to increase speculation that former Vice President Joe Biden, another Democrat with a history of appealing to working-class voters, is likely to enter the race.

"Biden has a history of being able to do that", Russell said, though he added that Brown's absence from the race creates potential advantages for O'Rourke, who has elements of the more centrist profile that Biden and Bloomberg would bring, as well as for Sanders. "After Trump claimed in November that Brown was partly to blame for General Motors' decision to close a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Brown responded on Twitter, "@realDonaldTrump, I'll compare my record standing up for Ohio & American workers to yours any day".

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 SC. He won with support throughout many blue-collar areas that Democrats had ceded to Trump.

"It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern".

Throughout the past couple of months, Sherrod Brown has campaigned in four early primary and caucus states.

Brown, 66, is the second Democratic senator to pass on a White House bid this week; Oregon's Jeff Merkley had released a similar statement Monday. Brown told reporters that he and Biden talk "from time to time" but had last connected before his Senate re-election win in November, "when he was in OH campaigning with me or for me".

For months the former vice president and Washington establishment fixture - a consensus-building pragmatist - has been in a political limbo of sorts, repeatedly saying he will decide soon but not yet pulling the trigger.

There are several Democrats who have already announced their plans to run for president, including U.S. Sens.

But Brown was facing a tough route to the nomination - with other top-tier candidates pulling the types of voters he'd need to win. Sen. But Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House are fighting him on it, proposing to raise the fuel tax by just 10.7 cents on gasoline and 20 cents on diesel.

The 66-year-old had emerged as a potentially strong challenger to Trump after winning re-election in November in a state that Trump carried by almost 11 percentage points in 2016.

Well-known for his progressive populism, Brown had pledged to be the most "pro-union, pro-worker" candidate in the Democratic field if he ran.

"I think it certainly creates a whole new constituency for the vice president that might have been split otherwise", California Sen.

Midwestern populist Sen. Sherrod Brown decides against running for president