Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio)–in the latest sign he is considering a 2020 run for president–is preparing to visit Iowa in the coming weeks, according to individuals with knowledge of the planning.
An Iowa trip would be the latest indication Brown is considering a White House run centered on the "dignity of work" platform from his 2018 reelection campaign, Politico reports. Iowa native Sarah Benzing, Brown's longtime aide and current chief of staff, has ramped up planning for a possible run.
"Groundwork for Sherrod is just working through it with his family, first and foremost, and deciding whether this is a good fit and they want to go through it," Benzing told Politico in an interview. "For us, because we're less than a year out from the Iowa caucuses and when Iowa starts their early vote, I see my responsibility as helping to get an infrastructure ready should he decide that he wants to run. It's calling people, checking in, making sure the fundraising apparatus is there—those sort of nuts and bolts of things."
Brown has also been calling high-profile Democrats in early primary states, including former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.
Should he run, Brown would face a growing field of candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and possibly former Vice President Joe Biden.
Brown is relying in large part on Benzing's experience in Iowa and the Midwest, according to Politico. Benzing worked as Iowa caucus director for Al Gore’s campaign in 1999 and later was a field and caucus director for the Iowa Democratic Party.
"I’m from there and some of my best friends still live there, so it’s a natural network," Benzing said.