“I’m thinking seriously about it [...] I love what I’m doing today, and I would love the Senate.”

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From the front page of The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria Ohio)
Brown mulls Senate race
by Cindy Leise

Senate Democratic leaders have asked U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown to run against Republican Sen. Mike DeWine next year.
Brown said he is considering it.
“I’m thinking seriously about it,” Brown said. “I love what I’m doing today, and I would love the Senate.”
Brown said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid talked to him about running for the Senate. If Brown chose to run against DeWine, he couldn’t run for re-election to his 13th Congressional District seat.
“It’s both a personal decision and a professional decision, and I will make the decision as soon as I can,” said Brown, D-Avon. “I don’t have a timetable.”
Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, called Brown “a smart, aggressive member of Congress who works his heart out for the people he represents and would make an excellent senator.”
DeWine’s approval numbers are down, perhaps in part due to public concern over the scandal involving millions of missing Workers Compensation funds invested in rare coins with dealer Tom Noe, Singer said.
“He took money from Tom Noe,” Singer said. “It doesn’t help him.”
A Democratic poll shows Brown trailing DeWine by six points.
DeWine’s numbers slipped since February, when 56 percent were favorable to him, to 48 percent positive, 25 percent unfavorable and 27 percent unable to rate DeWine.
Only 37 percent believed DeWine was doing a good job and 31 percent believed he deserves re-election, compared to 42 percent who prefer someone else, according to results of the July 25th Democratic poll.
Singer said he hoped to have a strong candidate emerge “in the next few weeks or months.”
Democratic leadership also urged Youngstown-area congressman Tim Ryan to consider joining the race, which now has three lesser-known candidates.
Ted Celeste, a real estate broker and brother of former Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste, is interested in running along with Richard Condray, who ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 1998 and the Rev. Marvin McMickle, a preacher from Cleveland.
Jason Mauk, political director for the Ohio Republican Party, said he doubts Brown would enter the race.
“He loves to eat up the attention — it feeds his ego,” Mauk said. “I have serious doubts Rep. Brown is going to leave his comfortable congressional seat and get into a Senate race.”
Earlier this year, Brown also considered running for governor but decided in April to stay out of the race.
Mauk said DeWine, who returned the money Noe had donated to his campaign, had nothing to do with investment decisions in rare coins and the senator will emerge unscathed.
Mauk laughed when questioned about Brown’s negatives.
“Where do I start?” he asked. “He has a record on Capital Hill that’s out of the mainstream — he’s more like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry than the average Ohioan.”
President Bush won Ohio and DeWine supports the president 96 percent of the time, Mauk said.
Mauk said he distrusted the results of the Democratic poll and said DeWine remains a popular office-holder.
“This is a Democratic poll and it’s going to say what they want it to say,” he said. “I’d like to see an independent poll.”