Breaking: Sherrod Brown not running for president

“I am just letting you know, I will not run for president in 2020,” Brown said on the call, which BuzzFeed News was invited to join. “You’ve heard me say many times that when you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work. I fight best when I bring joy to the battle. I find that joy fighting for Ohio in the Senate.”

Brown, 66, said he made the decision Wednesday, a few days after he concluded a “Dignity of Work” tour of the first four caucus and primary states. The tour was intended to advance Brown’s labor-friendly populism while planting seeds for a national campaign. In an interview Saturday with BuzzFeed News, he acknowledged that his would-be Democratic rivals had begun to echo his dignity of work theme, but that he still believed he was the best messenger for such issues. Brown also said his family was fully on board with a run and that he had lined up staff.

All of that made Thursday’s announcement a surprise.