Progressives rally around Turner's House bid

Progressives rally around Turner's House bid
© Greg Nash

Progressives rallied around former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D) on Tuesday after she announced she will run for Rep. Marcia Fudge’s (D-Ohio) House seat.

Turner, a former co-chair for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Bipartisan infrastructure win shows Democrats must continue working across the aisle 'The land is us' — Tribal activist turns from Keystone XL to Line 3 MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, is a favorite among the progressive base and saw her stock rise as one of the Vermont senator’s top surrogates in 2016 and 2020. Activists had pushed for her to run for Congress after President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP report on COVID-19 origins homes in on lab leak theory READ: The .2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session MORE selected Fudge to serve as his Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, likely opening up a vacancy in Fudge’s deep-blue, Cleveland-area district. 

Several high-profile progressives quickly lined up behind Turner, including Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Overnight Energy: Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes | Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rollback on power plant pollution in 2022 | How climate change and human beings influence wildfires Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes MORE (D-Calif.), another former co-chair of Sanders’s campaign.

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.@ninaturner will bring a phenomenal commitment to a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, and free public college to Congress,” he tweeted. “I am all in for her. This is an endorsement of conviction for me.”

Minnesota Attorney General (D) Keith EllisonKeith EllisonAttorneys general looking into online fundraising practices Minnesota AG asks judge to acknowledge trauma of children who witnessed Floyd's death Sunday shows preview: Moderates, Biden reach deal on infrastructure; Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years in prison MORE hailed Turner's bid as "great news," tweeting, "I endorse Nina and I hope you do too." 

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Our Revolution, a top progressive advocacy organization, added it was “excited to organize” for Turner. 

The swift endorsements underscore the support Turner has cultivated over four years as a top progressive figure. Should she also be able to tap into the small-dollar fundraising machine that Sanders helped construct since 2016, she will also be in a strong financial position heading into the Democratic primary.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio governor says vaccine lottery was successful Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Bipartisan governors press Biden administration on Canadian border restrictions MORE (R) will have to set a date for a special election to fill Fudge’s seat should she be confirmed to be HUD secretary, but the Democratic primary is already expected to be crowded for a district in which winning the nomination is essentially a ticket to Congress.

Shontel Brown, the leader of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, has already said she will run if Fudge is confirmed, and former Cleveland city councilman Jeff Johnson is also expected to run, already taking aim at Turner by suggesting she wouldn’t work with Biden.

Turner was a frequent critic of Biden during the primary election but defended her credentials in an interview with Politico and noted that Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - CDC equates Delta to chickenpox in contagiousness Harris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Why in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? MORE was also one of the president-elect’s detractors on the campaign trail. 

“Trying to make the Democratic Party better and insist very strongly that it answers to the cries of the people — to me that’s what being a Democrat is, not just going along to get along,” she said. “The partnership between President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris shows that people can have their differences. … [She] called out the vice president on his record on race with substance — very strongly, she did — and look at their partnership now.”