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Ohio Politics

Sherrod Brown expects tough 2012 race for U.S. Senate

By admin Published: November 16, 2010

Ann Sanner
Associated Press

COLUMBUS: Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said Monday he anticipates a difficult re-election bid in two years but believes he can keep his seat representing Ohio.

Brown will face voters who gave the GOP sweeping victories in mid-term elections this year in U.S. House, Senate and governor races.

Attending a conference of Ohio aerospace suppliers in Columbus, Brown told The Associated Press that it's a challenge to campaign in such a large state but said he's not too worried about his job.

"I know that it will be difficult," Brown said. "Politics is so volatile that who knows two years from now what things will look like. I plan to represent Ohio as long as the voters want me to, and I expect they will want me to in 2012."

At 58, Brown has spent more than half his life in public office. He was elected to the Ohio House in 1974, when he was in his early 20s. He then won his race for secretary of state in 1982 at 29. Brown lost the office in 1990, but then ran and won a seat in Congress in 1992. He served in the U.S. House until he was elected senator in 2006 with 56 percent of the vote. He'll become the state's senior senator when retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich leaves office in January.

Democrats had hoped to pick up Voinovich's seat in this year's election, and Brown — a popular political figure in the state — frequently hit the campaign trail for the Democratic candidate, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.

Former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman, a Republican, handily defeated Fisher in the election earlier this month.

Brown said he believes he can work with Portman to find common ground on issues important to the state — as he did with Voinovich.

The two Ohio senators have typically voted opposite of each other.

"But it didn't stop us from working on all kinds of infrastructure issues together, working on some job issues together," Brown said. "And I have no reason to think that Rob Portman won't want to do the same things."

Brown said he planned to meet with Portman soon to talk about ways to join forces.

"We will come together on things for Ohio," he said.

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