Spectrum News: New Hampshire Voters Meet Sherrod Brown

Taylor Popielarz – February 10, 2019

Senator Sherrod Brown’s tour through New Hampshire came to a close Saturday night after four events held throughout the Granite State.

Brown (D-OH) held two roundtables on Saturday, a meet-and-great at a bookstore, and finished the day by speaking to the New Hampshire Young Democrats at their annual awards ceremony.

“As my husband said, as soon as [Brown] finished talking, I love them all,” said Patrice Rasche, a Canterbury resident who came to the bookstore event.

“Trump won on false populism. And [Brown is] the guy that has real populism as his message,” said Ryan Greenwood, who drove an hour from Massachusetts to see Brown at the bookstore.

Residents in the North Country laid out a list of concerns about jobs, health care and more at an early morning roundtable in Berlin.

The senator’s responses were largely well-received by the two dozen attendees. And despite their calls for help and change, it didn’t seem to bother anyone that Brown is a career politician.

“Actually, that really doesn’t bother me,” said Eddy Deblois, a lifelong Berlin resident and former United Steelworkers union president. “I mean, you hear people say we need somebody in there that’s not a politician. We have somebody in there now, that’s running the country, that’s not a politician and we’ve seen that doesn’t work.”

Then at a roundtable about affordable childcare in Laconia, Brown’s insistence on protecting the dignity of work seemed to click.

“He’s down to earth,” said William Bolton, who lives in Plymouth. “His message is resonating.”

Multiple voters described Brown as genuine and likable, and said they think he could stand a real chance in winning the New Hampshire primary if he jumps into the race.

The one thing they think could hold him back? He’s not that well known.

“In this day of sound bites, it’s very hard — it’s easy to get lost in the pack and not come out,” said Mollie White, who lives in Twin Mountain and attended the Berlin roundtable. “So if he can shout loud enough, I think he would have a chance.”

A crowd of roughly 150 showed up at a bookstore in downtown Concord to meet Brown and his wife, Connie Schultz, on Saturday afternoon.

And then the day ended with Brown delivering a keynote address at a New Hampshire Young Democrats’ awards ceremony, where he tried connecting directly with millennial voters.

“You’ve been blamed for killing everything from marriage to mayonnaise,” Brown joked. “Not all of you get that, but we’ll explain it later.”

Some attendees thought Brown’s speech was on message.

“I thought he really spoke to what we feel as young Democrats,” said Inbal Rejwan Day, who lives in Manchester.

Brown will next take his tour to Nevada and South Carolina, before deciding on a run some time in March.

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