Top Senate Banking Democrat decides against presidential run

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WASHINGTON —Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the Senate Banking Committee's ranking Democrat, will not seek the Democratic nomination for president, he announced Thursday

Brown told the Vindicator, the daily newspaper in Youngstown, Ohio, that he has “decided the best place for me to continue fighting for Ohio and for the dignity of workers across the country, all workers, is to stay in the U.S. Senate.” He confirmed his decision later with a formal announcement, which ended months of speculation that he would enter the already crowded Democratic field.

He reportedly came to the decision after making stops in early primary states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. The purpose of his tour was to promote his central idea of “dignity of work,” in the hopes of making it a central theme of the Democratic campaign.

“I will keep calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism,” Brown 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 best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.”

Brown is a longtime critic of the banking industry, and has been staunchly opposed to Republican efforts to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act, voting against the regulatory relief bill that President Trump signed into law last year.

As recently as January, Brown called on the Federal Reserve to raise the countercyclical capital buffer to combat systemic risk in the market, calling it an “invaluable mechanism” to address risks to the financial system before an economic crisis ensues.

Brown also told the Vindicator that he doesn’t “aspire to be vice president.” He had been vetted as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee.

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