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Sherrod Campbell Brown (born November 9, 1952) is the junior United States Senator from the state of Ohiomarker, and a member of the Democratic Party. Before his election to the Senate in 2006, Brown served as a member of the House of Representatives from Ohio's 13th district and as Ohio's Secretary of State.

Early life

Brown was born in Mansfieldmarker, Ohiomarker to Emily Campbell and Charles Gailey Brown, M.D. He became an Eagle Scout in 1967. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian studies from Yale Universitymarker in 1974. At Yale, he was in Davenport Collegemarker, the same residential college as U.S. Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush. He went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in education and public administration from Ohio State Universitymarker in (Columbusmarker) in 1981. He taught at the Mansfield branch campus of Ohio State University from 1979 to 1981.

Career in politics

State politics

Brown served as an Ohio state representative from 1974 to 1982. He was one of the youngest state representatives in Ohio history, and supposedly, shortly after taking office, he was mistaken for an intern and asked to fetch coffee by a staffer. In 1982, he won a four-way Democratic primary that included Dennis Kucinich, now a Cleveland Congressman, then defeated Republican Virgil Brown in the general election for the office of Ohio Secretary of State, succeeding Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr.. In 1986, Brown won re-election as secretary of state, defeating Vincent C. Campanella. In 1990, Brown lost when trying for a third term as secretary of state to Republican Bob Taft.

U.S. House of Representatives

In 1992, Brown moved from Mansfield to Lorain, Ohiomarker and won the heavily contested Democratic primary for an open seat in Ohio's 13th district, located in the western and southern suburbs of Clevelandmarker, after eight-term incumbent Don Pease announced his retirement. The Democratic-leaning district gave him an easy win over the little known Republican Margaret R. Mueller. He was re-elected six times, never facing substantive opposition with the exception of during the Republican landslide of 1994 when his opponent was a popular long-time local prosecutor.

Brown was the ranking minority member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee. He also served on the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. As a member of the House International Relations Committee, he also served on the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. He was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In 2001, the Republican-controlled legislature threatened to draw Brown's district out from under him. Brown threatened to run for governor in 2002 against incumbent Bob Taft. The Republicans backed down, and in fact made his district even more heavily Democratic by adding most of Akronmarker and drawing out Geaugamarker and Portagemarker counties.

In 2005, Brown led the Democratic effort to block the Central American Free Trade Agreement . For many months, Brown worked as whip on the issue, securing Democratic "nay" votes and seeking Republican allies. After several delays, the House of Representatives finally voted on CAFTA after midnight on July 28, 2005. The Republican leadership kept the roll call open well past the 15 minute standard, and the House approved CAFTA by a vote of 217 to 215. CAFTA effectively passed by one vote a tie would have resulted in a defeat.

Brown cited this stinging outcome as the impetus for the next stage of his career: running for the U.S. Senate .

2006 Senate campaign

In August 2005, Brown announced he would not run for the United States Senate seat held by Republican Mike DeWine. In October, however, Brown reconsidered his decision to enter the ring. This announcement came shortly after Democrat Paul Hackett also stated that he would soon announce his candidacy.

On February 13, 2006, Hackett withdrew from the race, all but ensuring that Brown would win the Democratic nomination. In the May 2 primary, Brown won 78.05% of the Democratic vote. His opponent, Merrill Samuel Keiser, Jr., received 21.95% of the vote.

In the middle of his Senate campaign in April 2006 Brown, along with John Conyers, brought an action against George W. Bush and others alleging violations of the Constitution in the passing of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The case (Conyers v. Bush) was ultimately dismissed for 'lack of standing'.

On November 7, 2006, Brown faced two-term incumbent senator Mike DeWine in the general election. By 2:17 A.M. on November 8, most major television networks had declared Brown the winner against Mike DeWine. Brown won the seat with 56% of the vote to DeWine's 44%.

Subject of negative campaigning

One of DeWine's ads, aired in October 2006, suggests that opponent Sherrod Brown did not pay an unemployment tax bill for 13 years. This claim led to the Associated Press reporting on October 19, 2006 that, "Several Ohio television stations have stopped airing a Republican ad because state documents contradict the ad's accusation that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod Brown didn't pay an unemployment tax bill for 13 years." Brown has produced a commercial citing these facts. [378549] Citing a clerical error, Brown actually paid the $1,700 bill, which was due in 1993, in April 1994. However, this clerical error made it appear as if he had not paid this bill. [378550]

Brown was the subject of a misunderstanding by Rush Limbaugh on his radio program on February 14, 2006. Commenting on Hackett's withdrawal from the Senate race the previous day, Limbaugh declared there was a racial element to that withdrawal, making that statement on the erroneous assumption that Brown was black. (Limbaugh apparently perceived "Sherrod" as a more common name among African-Americans than among whites.) He was corrected and withdrew his statement later in the same program.

On Issues

Brown is consistently one of the most liberal members of Congress, particularly on opposition to free trade, but has voted with conservatives on a small number of major issues.

Iraq War

Sherrod Brown has been consistently against the war in Iraq since taking office in 2007. He voted against the $87 billion war budgetary supplement. He also voted for redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008. As a member of the House of Representatives, Brown voted against the original Iraq War resolution.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Rights

Sherrod Brown is a strong advocate of gay rights. He opposed an amendment to Ohio's constitution that banned same sex marriage. Brown was also one of the few U.S. Representatives to vote against the then highly popular Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. He also voted against prohibiting gay adoptions in Washington DC, and received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign.

Health Care

In 2007 Senators Brown and Sam Brownback (R-KS) sponsored an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007. President George W. Bush signed the bill in September 2007. The amendment created a prize as an incentive for companies to invest in new drugs and vaccines for neglected tropical diseases. It awards a transferable “Priority Review Voucher” to any company that obtains approval for a treatment for a neglected tropical disease. This provision adds to the market based incentives available for the development of new medicines for developing world diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and African sleeping sickness. The prize was proposed by Duke Universitymarker faculty Henry Grabowski, Jeffrey Moe, and David Ridley in their 2006 Health Affairs paper: "Developing Drugs for Developing Countries."


Brown's wife, Connie Schultz, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at Cleveland's Plain Dealer newspaper. Brown's daughter Emily works for the Service Employees International Union, daughter Elizabeth was an editorial assistant at New York Magazine and is currently a communication staff person for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, and stepdaughter Caitlin is a senior at John Carroll Universitymarker. Stepson Andrew C. Gard is a doctoral student (Ph.D., Mathematics) at Ohio State Universitymarker. Brown and his family are Lutherans. They reside in Avon,marker Lorain County, Ohiomarker.

Books authored

Brown is the author of two books:
  • Congress from the Inside: Observations from the Majority and the Minority ISBN 0-87338-630-2
  • Myths of Free Trade: Why American Trade Policy Has Failed ISBN 1-56584-928-0

Committee assignments

Electoral history

: Results 1992–2004
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 134,486 53% 88,889 35% Mark Miller Independent 20,320 8% Tom Lawson Independent 4,719 2% *
1994 Sherrod Brown 93,147 49% 86,422 46% Howard Mason Independent 7,777 4% Ryan Independent 2,430 1%
1996 Sherrod Brown 148,690 61% 87,108 36% David Kluter Natural Law 8,707 4%
1998 Sherrod Brown 116,309 62% 72,666 38%
2000 Sherrod Brown 170,058 65% Rick H. Jeric 84,295 32% Michael Chmura Libertarian 5,837 2% David Kluter Natural Law 3,108 1%
2002 Sherrod Brown 123,025 69% Ed Oliveros 55,357 31%
2004 Sherrod Brown 201,004 67% Robert Lucas 97,090 33%

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, Werner J. Lange received 3,844 votes (2%).
{| class="wikitable" style="margin:0.5em ; font-size:95%" |+ [[List of United States Senators from Ohio|U.S. Senate (Class I) elections in Ohio]]: 2006 results !|Year ! !|Democrat !|Votes !|Pct ! !|Republican !|Votes !|Pct ! |- |[[United States Senate election in Ohio, 2006|2006]] | |{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|'''Sherrod Brown'''}} |{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |2,257,369 |{{Party shading/Democratic}} |56% | |{{Party shading/Republican}} |[[Mike DeWine]] |{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |1,761,037 |{{Party shading/Republican}} |44% | |'''*''' {{end box}}
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2006, Richard Duncan received 830 votes.

See also


  1. 1
  2. - Sherrod Brown's advocates saddened
  3. - Brown confirms he will challenge DeWine for Senate seat
  4. 2006 Election Results
  8. Roll Call vote, Iraq War resolution
  9. Roll Call vote, Defense of Marriage Act
  10. Sherrod Brown on Civil Rights
  11. Sherrod Brown on the Issues
  12. Developing Drugs For Developing Countries - Ridley et al. 25 (2): 313 - Health Affairs

External links

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