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Government and Politics

Brown calls his victory one for the middle class
Incumbent Democrat held the lead all night, and ended up beating challenger Mandel by 5 points
This story is part of a special series.

Kevin Niedermier
Brown says his victory was a victory for the middle class -- again.
Courtesy of MADELEINE PERRY, Sherrod Brown's campaign
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Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has won a second term defeating challenger, State Treasurer Josh Mandel by about five percentage points in one of the most expensive – and nastiest -- Senate races in history. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

Niedermier on Ohio's Senate race

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A hoarse Sherrod Brown gave his victory speech in front of several hundred supporters at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Columbus.  A focus of the hard-fought campaign was the millions of dollars in super PAC money that flowed into the state, a point Brown folded into his opening comments.

“Today, in Ohio in the middle of America, the middle class…won. Only a year ago we gathered to celebrate the defeat of Issue 2, which was an oddly disguised assault on the middle class.  Just like this fall we fought back against secretive, out of state forces that wanted to impose their will upon our state.”

Outside groups poured more than $50 million into the campaign, including Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. 

Tag-teaming acceptance
As Brown’s voice gave out, his wife, former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz took over.

"The race was about the resurgence of Ohio manufacturing, the workers and managers of Navistar in Springfield…Aerobus in Columbus, Cooper Tire in Findlay.  All adding jobs in Ohio."

The Pulitzer Prize winning columist paused.  "I can’t believe I’m reading somebody else’s writing." With a smile, she reached over and caressed his cheek, adding: "But not just anybody.”

After the victory speech, former Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland called Brown’s victory a blow for the super PACs.

“Well, I think Senator Brown’s smashing victory said word to the other guards, the millionaires, billionaires, that would like to control the Mid-Atlantic economic agenda, that Ohio is not for sale.  It’s a strong message and I hope they’re watching and listening tonight because they wasted a lot of money telling a lot of lies, and the people of Ohio would not allow themselves to be deceived by outside money.” 

He'll be back
Despite the negative, often confrontational tone of the Senate race, Brown’s challenger, Josh Mandel conceded defeat to the incumbent candidate on a gracious note. 

“I’d like to start off by congratulating Senator Brown.  He ran a great campaign, and I have a great deal of respect for him as a leader, and also for his family.” 

Just last month, Mandel had squared off against Brown in a series of fiery debates, often calling his opponent a “liar” and a typical “tax and spend liberal” who rarely deviated from President Obama’s policies. But while Mandel graciously bowed out of the race, adding he could not think of anything else he could’ve had done to win, he indicated to his supporters that he wasn’t ruling out future bids. 

“And I believe we put forth everything we could in sweat, and honor, and in integrity.  I’d also like to tell everyone here, that this isn’t the end of a fight. This is the beginning of a fight!” 

Until then, Mandel is due back in the Ohio treasurer’s office.  And Brown returns to Washington.

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