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Updated: 4:51 p.m.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) hosted Vice President Joseph Biden for a fundraiser Tuesday in Cleveland.
Biden and Brown also dropped by Slyman’s Restaurant, which is famous for its corned beef, around 11:30 a.m., according to a White House pool report. Biden “introduced himself to restaurant patrons” for about 20 minutes before they sat down to order food.
Biden stopped in Cleveland to headline a lunchtime fundraiser at Progressive Field for the Ohio Senator, who is up for re-election in 2012. Biden met with supporters for a private reception before addressing the crowd for almost 30 minutes. The vice president eschewed his prepared remarks in favor of an off-the-cuff presentation.
“I’ve never met one who has more gumption,” Biden said of Brown, according to the pool report. “I’ve never met one who knows so clearly what he cares about and is willing to risk his career fighting for what he cares about.”
Two Republicans — state Treasurer Josh Mandel and former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin — have already filed the paperwork to explore running against Brown. Former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is also considering a bid for the Republican nomination.
Brown raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of this year and has $2.5 million in the bank.
Roll Call Politics rates this race Leans Democratic.