Martin Sheen tours with Sherrod Brown

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Martin Sheen tours with Sherrod Brown

Columbus Dispatch – Martin Sheen says he “loves” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and called the Ohio Democrat his “hero.”

But when Sheen, the actor and activist who was in Columbus campaigning and raising money for Brown, was asked to size up his hero’s opponent, the effusive praise he gave to Brown wasn’t matched with equal distaste for Josh Mandel.

“It astonishes me what attracts people to the Republican Party that have something to offer,” Sheen said of Mandel, the 34-year-old Republican state treasurer and former Marine. “He’s a young guy, he has some experience, education, he seems to care. He’s bought into that wretched system —it’s called success, not service.”

Sheen, the actor from Dayton who played fictional Democratic President Josiah Bartlet on the TV series The West Wing, kicked off the central Ohio leg of his statewide tour with Brown yesterday morning with a visit to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Grove City. He followed by co-hosting fundraisers with former U.S. Sen. John Glenn and Glenn’s wife, Annie, in Columbus.

Sheen is a longtime Democrat and activist who has been arrested more than 60 times for his involvement in protests on issues ranging from nuclear disarmament to the homeless.

“He just makes me very proud to be a Buckeye,” Sheen said of Brown. “That this voice is coming from where I’m from. It’s because this state has become so conservative and it’s that awful term ‘battleground state.’ Yeah, it’s a battle for people’s souls, and this effort (the food bank) speaks more about who he is, what he stands for.”

Brown hailed the Ohio “working-class kid” who is “a son of an immigrant from Spain and an immigrant from Ireland. He’s cared about public policy and making this country better his entire life.”

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