November 8, 2006
Brown first Ohio Dem senator since Glenn
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
CLEVELAND Democratic U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown unseated Sen. Mike
DeWine on Tuesday in a victory he declared a triumph for the
"Today in Ohio in the middle of America, the middle class won,"
he said, with his wife, Connie, his children and other family
members at his side.
"All of us together today have changed our country," said Brown,
a seven-term congressman who made his mark as a foe of trade
agreements and advocate of affordable health care.
As Brown began his victory speech at 11 p.m., red, white and
blue confetti was blasted over several hundred supporters in the
Cleveland Public Auditorium, which ironically hosted two
Republican presidential conventions in the early 1900s.
Brown's victory after one of the most closely watched Senate
battles in the nation gives Ohio its first Democratic senator
since John Glenn retired in 1999.
DeWine, who was seeking a third term, conceded the race with a
phone call to Brown about 10:40 p.m.
Like other Republicans in the state, DeWine, of Cedarville, was
hurt by widespread voter dissatisfaction with the economy,
political scandals in Columbus and Washington, and the Iraq war.
In his concession speech, DeWine told supporters in Columbus,
"We fought hard" but "this was not the year."
"I will continue to fight for my passion - children," DeWine
Brown, 53, received some of his most thunderous applause when he
declared, "We all want an end to the war in Iraq."
Looking ahead to next year, the Avon resident vowed to fight for
a federal minimum wage increase and federal funding for
embryonic stem-cell research. Another priority is to "tell the
government to negotiate drug prices on behalf of 40 million
Medicare beneficiaries," he said.
A self-styled "progressive," he also pledged to work for
affordable health care and affordable higher education.
He said he would fix the No Child Left Behind law and work with
Gov.-elect Ted Strickland to "make Ohio the Silicon Valley of
And in a glance forward to the next presidential race in this
key swing state, he said, "As Ohio goes in '06, so goes the
nation in '08."
He told the crowd that when he began his campaign for Senate 13
months ago, a lot of people thought he couldn't win.
"They warned us to be cautious, they advised me not to be
myself, they advised us to be middle of the road," he said.
But Brown said he didn't take their advice. "It's a risk worth
taking to stand up for what you believe. It's a risk worth
taking to fight uncompromisingly for progressive values."
The hard-fought contest pitted Brown's message of ending the
"stranglehold" of special interests and empowering the middle
class against DeWine's claim that he was a more effective and
Throughout the campaign, Brown hammered DeWine for being a tool
of special interests, including oil and pharmaceutical companies
that gave to his campaign.
DeWine, 59, rejected the charge. He accused Brown of being an
ineffective, partisan lawmaker who was too liberal for Ohio.
Brown's supporters at the party included Justin Williams of
Massillon, who praised him for standing up against Bush.
"He's going to speak his mind and he's going to say, 'Ohio is
not a state to be messed with,' " said Williams, a freshman at
Case Western Reserve University who worked on the campaign.
Don Singer of Canton, another campaign volunteer who gave
speeches on behalf of Brown, said the new senator would serve as
a check on Bush and Republicans in Congress.
"We're now going to have people on both sides in Congress who
are going to have more courage to speak up," said Singer, a
retired manager of federal programs to benefit dislocated