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2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

In Akron, Sen. Sherrod Brown Talks Trump Impeachment Trial and His New Book

photo of Sherrod Brown
Sen. Sherrod Brown signed copies of his new book, 'Desk 88: Eight Progessive Senators Who Changed America,' for nearly two hours after this appearance at the Akron-Summit County Public Library on Sunday.
photo of Sharon Pelkey, Brandon Meeker
Sharon Pelkey (right) and Brandon Meeker were the last two people in line to meet Sen. Sherrod Brown, but were unable to get copies of his book, which sold out quickly.

Ohio’s Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, is not up for re-election this year. But during his appearance in Akron on Sunday, the conversation kept coming back to this fall’s election.

Brown was at the Akron-Summit County Public Library to promote his book, “Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America.” In discussing the sometimes unpopular positions that his predecessors had to take, he said lawmakers are most effective when they are not worrying about re-election. That prompted a big response from audience members like Charlie Nelson from Akron, who saw a parallel to last week’s impeachment hearings.

“I think we'd have had a much different outcome if the Senate was able to vote by secret ballot on calling of witnesses and for impeachment. I think it would have put some Senators in a position where they could vote their conscience.”

Sen. Brown also briefly expressed disappointment with how the media has been treated during the impeachment hearings.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.