Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the Democratic Party's progressive stalwarts, has announced he will not run for president in 2020. He says his most effective role is in the Senate. Brown was comfortably re-elected in the November midterm elections, earning almost 10 percentage points more than Hillary Clinton did two years prior.
"I fight best when I bring joy to the battle", he told home-state reporters.
"I mean Biden's been talking about the dignity of work forever", Strickland said.
The move comes as a surprise - Brown had built out a campaign team and had been touring early-voting states on his "Dignity of Work" tour in recent weeks.
Brown, a fierce populist, won reelection in OH last fall even as every other Democratic statewide candidate fell far short, and has a proven track record of winning white working-class voters and carrying a Midwestern state that has moved hard towards the GOP in recent years.
Brown said he's not backing a specific candidate for the Democratic nomination.
He also explained his decision in a Twitter thread drawing attention to his tour to make "dignity of work a centerpiece of Democrats' 2020 campaign". We've seen candidates begin taking up the dignity of work fight, and we have seen voters across the country demanding it - because dignity of work is a value that unites all of us.
"It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern".
Brown said on Thursday that he would continue to listen to those concerns from voters and pledged to "keep calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism".
"I would think of all the candidates or potential candidates running that Sherrod's decision of not running would be most significant for Biden", former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who is supporting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for president, told Politico. But two Ohio Democrats close to Brown said that Biden's possible run was not the determining factor. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Oregon Sen.
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.