Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown Decides Against 2020 Presidential Run

(Bloomberg) -- Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown announced he won’t join the already crowded field of candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Brown, a progressive who’s proven he can win in a Midwestern battleground state that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, said he’ll continue making the concerns of working-class American a prominent issue for the Democratic Party.

“I will keep calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism,” Brown, 66, said in a statement. “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 Ohio senator had been traveling to some early primary states to test his appeal to the party’s voting base, saying his focus on “the dignity of work’’ while not “caving to Wall Street’’ could capture Trump voters and Democrats alike. He typically wears a canary pin on the lapel of his union-made suits to memorialize coal miners without adequate protections who had to use canaries to warn them about poisonous gases underground.

Trump won the industrial Midwestern states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan in part because he connected with working-class voters who thought both mainstream parties had abandoned them on economic issues such as trade.

Brown won reelection last year in Ohio, a state Trump carried in 2016 by more than eight percentage points. Even so, Brown’s protectionist views put him at odds with much of the Democratic Party mainstream outside of the Midwest, and he doesn’t have as big a national profile as some of the other Democrats in the nomination race.

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