‘Incredible turnout’ for Brown’s visit

Breanne George

Congressman Sherrod Brown, a Democratic candidate for U.S. senator, spoke to a crowd of about 50 students Friday as part of his statewide Road to Change campaign tour.

The College Democrats sponsored the event and provided free food and drinks.

Brown was surprised by what he described as an “incredible turnout” for a Friday afternoon.

“No one did this when I was in college,” he joked.

In regard to the 2006 election, Brown, who is running against Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, said the senate race in Ohio will be the most watched race in the country because of the great deal at stake.

“This race may determine which party will be the majority in the senate,” he said.

A Democratic majority in the senate would have an extremely different approval process of important issues such as the War in Iraq and how the national government spends public money, Brown said.

“It could also dramatically change the dynamic of the 2008 presidential election,” he said.

The day after Election Day, Brown said he foresees two major headlines gracing the front page of newspapers across the country.

“Newspapers from the Los Angeles Times to The New York Times will read ‘Democrats take the House and Senate,'” he said. “And ‘Ohio is finally a blue state.'”

Christopher Taylor, junior nursing major and president of PRIDE!Kent, asked the congressman what his views are on laws preventing gay marriage in Ohio. Brown responded by saying he believes the gay marriage issue is used to divide people. The younger generation, which is more accepting of different lifestyles, does not understand why people are fighting this issue, he said.

“In 20 years, gay marriage won’t be an issue,” he said. “It’s the kind of issue that will eventually go away.”

When asked how to keep jobs from going to other countries, Brown said the solution involves labor laws, trade agreements and sanctions against employers to enforce the laws. The problematic employment situation in Ohio was also discussed. Brown said the solution has to start with the state taking advantage of its assets such as excellent medical facilities and NASA.

“Most people from Ohio would stay in Ohio if they could find jobs,” he said.

Members of the College Democrats were not the sole attendees at the speech.

Elizabeth Eisaman, president-elect of the College Republicans, said she came to the speech because she was not familiar with Brown, and was interested to hear what he had to say. After hearing his speech, she said many of his points did not add up.

Katie Hale, sophomore political science major, said she was excited to have Brown here for the second time this semester. She said he is a strong democrat, which is exactly what the party needs to win.

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected]