U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown Wins Re-Election

Brown, a Democrat, easily bested his opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci

Nov 6, 2018 at 8:57 pm
click to enlarge U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown

Democrat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has won reelection against his opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci.

The result wasn't a big surprise — Renacci had been running many points behind Brown in polling and never quite nailed down an effective line of attack against the popular liberal senator.

The two mostly sparred over the GOP tax reform bill passed last year as part of President Donald Trump's agenda, though Renacci lobbed accusations of spousal abuse at Brown. Fact checkers — and Brown's ex-wife, whose divorce filings were the fodder from which Renacci pulled his accusations — repudiated the attacks repeatedly, and in the end, they gave Renacci little traction.

Renacci's claim that he is a Washington outsider — made after eight years in the U.S. House — also failed to carry much weight with voters, and even an endorsement from Trump himself seemed to do little for his campaign.

Brown was likely buoyed by his support for organized labor and his populist message, especially on economic issues. He's been an outspoken critic of trade deals like NAFTA that opponents say have cost Americans jobs. That may well have resonated with Ohio's Trump voters, who are otherwise a world away from his progressive ideological stances.

In remarks tonight, Brown contrasted his victory with Trump's 2016 win in Ohio, and mentioned the 2020 presidential election. He's rumored to be a potential hopeful in the Democratic primary for that race, though he has batted away those suggestions for now.

"Tonight, Ohio, you showed the country that by putting people first and by honoring the dignity of work, we can carry a state Donald Trump won by nearly 10 points," he said in his victory speech in Columbus. "And you showed that we do it without compromising on women’s rights or civil rights or LGBTQ rights. We do it without caving to Wall Street or the drug companies or the gun lobby."

Renacci conceded with a speech in Wadsworth, his hometown.

Brown's win comes as Democrats across the country work to take back control of the Senate, which is now narrowly held by Republicans. Gaining any extra seats will be difficult, however, as Democratic Senators are up for re-election this year.