Union leaders in Lima endorse Brown for Senate

LIMA — As U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is trying to persuade Ohio voters to let him continue his tenure in the U.S. Senate, trade union leaders at both the state and local levels are lending their voices in support.

Lima became a stop on the statewide “Workers for Sherrod” tour Monday, featuring endorsements and testimonials from leaders of multiple trade unions in the state pointing to Brown’s support for American workers.

“Ohio workers have no better champion than Sherrod Brown, and we have to make sure he’s re-elected this November,” UA Local 776 business manager Brad Wendel said. “From standing with us on the picket lines for better wages and benefits to standing up to his own party to prevent bad trade deals that hurt Ohio workers, Sherrod has always stood on our side, and thanks to Sherrod’s work, we’re seeing real results right here in Lima.”

Wendel pointed to the $500 million investment at the Lima Procter & Gamble plant as one example of companies investing in the region, crediting Brown as one of the people who helped make that happen. Ohio AFL-CIO president Tim Burga also pointed to measures like the Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2023 as another example of Brown’s positive impact on Ohio workers.

“This is unlike his opponent, who has a long track record of lying and looking out for himself,” Burga said, citing accusations made against Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno over alleged lies about selling the Chinese-made Buick Envision at his dealership in Beachwood. “The contrast in this race could not be more clear.”

Responding to Monday’s event, Moreno campaign spokeswoman Reagan McCarthy maintained that Brown’s priorities are actually hurting Ohio’s manufacturing base and that Brown should be voted out if Ohio workers want to see positive change in Washington.

“Since Sherrod Brown first went to Washington, D.C., Ohio has lost nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs, while Sherrod continues to push job-killing electric vehicle mandates and wage depressing open border policies,” she said in a statement. “Sherrod can pretend to be bipartisan, but he votes with Joe Biden nearly 100 percent of the time. In November, Ohioans will send them both packing.”

Amid growing concerns over President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, union leaders maintained that Brown is focused on his own political campaign and not the race for president. While the National Republican Senatorial Committee pointed in a 2023 article to research from FiveThirtyEight that showed that Brown voted in line with President Biden’s position 98.5 percent of the time as of January 2023, Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council secretary-treasurer Mike Knisley pointed to Brown’s efforts in bipartisan bills like the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and his work with Republicans to bring computer chip manufacturing to Ohio to show how Brown prioritizes Ohio voters over keeping in lockstep with his own party.

“He is working for Ohio, and that’s what he does,” Knisley said. “So I don’t think he’s trying to calculate where the presidential race comes in. I think he knows all his energy has to be for Ohio, and that’s how he’s been his entire career and that’s where he stays in his lane.”