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Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Capitol Hill on Dec. 7, 2022.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Capitol Hill on Dec. 7, 2022.Mariam Zuhaib / AP file

Sherrod Brown hires Warnock vet to run re-election bid in Ohio

Rachel Petri served as deputy campaign manager for Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022 and is a familiar presence on Brown's team.

By

CLEVELAND — Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has hired Rachel Petri as his campaign manager as he gears up for what's expected to be a tough re-election fight in 2024.

Petri served last year as deputy campaign manager on Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock's successful re-election bid in Georgia, which was one the cycle's premier battles for partisan control of the Senate.

A native of St. Clairsville, Ohio, Petri is no stranger to Brown's political team, having worked on his 2018 campaign and in his Senate office as a spokesperson and communications aide. Petri also was a top staffer to Brown on the national tour he took in 2019 to explore a 2020 presidential campaign that never came to fruition.

"Working families in Ohio have no better champion than Sherrod Brown," Petri said in a statement. "I’m honored to have the opportunity to work for Sherrod again and to help re-elect a senator who fights for Ohio and the dignity of work every single day."

In the same statement, Brown cited Petri's roots as "a daughter of eastern Ohio" — a crucial geographic battleground in statewide elections. "Rachel," he added, "has spent her entire career fighting for working families and this race will be no different."

Cleveland.com first reported Petri's hiring Monday morning.

Brown, 70, is seeking a fourth term in a state where he is the one Democrat with sustained success at the statewide level over the last three decades. Sen. J.D. Vance, a Republican backed by former President Donald Trump, carried the state last year by about 6 percentage points over then-Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat who presented himself as working-class champion in Brown's mold.

Republicans are already lining up for the chance to take on Brown. Matt Dolan, an independently wealthy state senator who finished third in last year's GOP Senate primary, entered the race last week.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, businessman Bernie Moreno, Rep. Warren Davidson and venture capitalist Mark Kvamme are among the others being mentioned as potential GOP candidates.

The Ohio race is expected to be among the most competitive and expensive Senate contests in 2024, along with battles in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Montana and West Virginia.