Greg Nash

Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D), a co-chairwoman for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, has officially jumped into the race to represent Ohio’s 11th Congressional District.

The seat has opened up after President-elect Joe Biden tapped Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“I am a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt and friend,” Turner said on a Zoom call with supporters.

“My career in public service is varied, having served in local and state government and also in higher education. My views are informed by my own experience and that of people I love,” she added. “What I want the people of Akron and Cleveland to know is that I know what it means to be counted out. I am running to ensure the people of Akron and Cleveland are always counted in.” 

Turner was joined on the call by actor Danny Glover, who was a surrogate for Sanders, as well as Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins, Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples, Ohio State Sen. Kenny Yuko, former Ohio State Sen. Eric Kearney and others.

Turner rose to prominence as one of Sanders’s earliest and most vocal supporters. She often defended him on cable news and served as his hype-person who introduced him at rallies on the campaign trail.

The progressive group Democracy for America endorsed Turner’s bid, and the pro-Sanders super PAC Our Revolution sent out an email fundraiser for her.

Turner is promising to bring a progressive agenda to Congress if she’s elected.

Several state lawmakers, including state Sens. Sandra Williams and Eric Kearney, announced their support for Turner on Tuesday.

“I have known Senator Turner personally and professionally,” Williams said. “I know her character and her heart. She is an unrelenting advocate who has represented the Greater Cleveland area well. She has fought for justice at the local and national level, never forgetting her humble beginnings or her responsibility to the people of Cuyahoga County. I know our community will be well served with her in Congress.”

If Fudge is confirmed to HUD, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) will schedule a special election in the state to fill her seat.

Tags Bernie Sanders congressional bid Joe Biden Marcia Fudge Mike DeWine Nina Turner Ohio
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