Sherrod Brown to campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and two other early voting states
Jan. 16--WASHINGTON -- Sen. Sherrod Brown will campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada during the next month and a half as he considers whether to enter the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The trips, which Brown announced Tuesday night in a conference call with Ohio reporters, are yet another sign that Brown, 66, is seriously planning to run for president. Iowa and New Hampshire are the first two major presidential contests in 2020, with South Carolina and Nevada not far behind.
Brown will launch the "Dignity of Work Listening Tour" in Cleveland on Jan. 30 before appearing in Iowa the following day. Dates have yet to be set for his trips to the other three states, but Brown said they will likely take place in February.
He indicated Tuesday he would make a final decision in March on whether to officially enter the race.
"I don't know if I am running yet," Brown said, adding that he and his wife, Connie Schultz, "are thinking about it. It's a matter of weeks away if I decide to run."
If Brown enters the race, he would have one of the more extensive resumes of any potential candidate with the exception of former Vice President Joe Biden. He has served two full terms in the U.S. Senate, was a member of the U.S. House from 1993 through the end of 2006, and was twice elected Ohio secretary of state in the 1980s after four terms in the Ohio House.
He hopes his theme of "dignity of work" would resonate with blue-collar Democrats, who have been a key part of his base in Ohio. His reasoning: If it works in a swing state like Ohio, it will work nationwide.
"Dignity of work means hard work should pay off for everyone, no matter who you are or what kind of work you do," Brown said.
He would enter a crowded field that likely will include Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Julian Castro, who served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Department under President Barack Obama.
Gillibrand essentially entered the growing field Tuesday, telling a television host that she's launching an exploratory committee.
"It's an important first step, and it's one I am taking because I am going to run," the senator said on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Gillibrand, 52, has made plans to campaign in Iowa over the weekend.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this story.