No 2020 White House run for Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Published: Mar. 7, 2019 at 12:41 PM EST

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says he won't run for president after making an exploratory swing through early-voting states.

The Ohio Democrat has announced his 2020 decision to a group of home-state reporters.

Brown says he feels his "dignity of work" tour succeeded in its mission of putting the struggles of working people on the Democrats' 2020 radar. He says his most effective role is in the Senate.

Brown had emerged as a prospective strong challenger to Republican President Donald Trump after his solid re-election in November in a state Trump carried by nearly 11 points in 2016.

Brown won with support throughout many blue-collar areas that Democrats had ceded to Trump.

Brown says he'll continue to call out what he calls Trump's "phony populism."