Sanders reaffirms support for Turner in Ohio amid Democratic rift

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reaffirmed his support for progressive congressional candidate Nina Turner, a former co-chair of his 2020 presidential campaign, in the Democratic primary in Ohio’s 11th District next month. 

“The upcoming congressional election in Ohio has everything to do with the future of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said in a tweet on Friday. “Will Democrats stand with the working class and have the courage to take on wealthy special interests? I know that Nina Turner will, which is why I strongly support her.”

The Cleveland-area race to replace now-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge has divided establishment and progressive Democrats. While there are 13 Democrats running in the primary, Turner and Shontel Brown are the two front-runners. 

Last week, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) made the rare move of endorsing Brown in the race, telling The New York Times that his decision did not have anything to do with Sanders or Turner. However, the Democratic congressman warned of the effect that progressive slogans such as “defund the police” and “Medicare for All” could have on the party as a whole.

The issue of U.S. support for Israel has also permeated the race, with a number of pro-Israel Democrats, including Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Ted Deutch (Fla.), David Trone (Md.) and Brad Schneider (Ill.) voicing their support for Brown. 

On Friday, the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC released a statement criticizing Turner for her past remarks on President Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

“In her latest negative ad, Nina Turner does not refute a single fact contained in DMFI PAC’s ad about her harsh attacks on Secretary Clinton and President Biden, or her opposition to the Democratic Party platform,” the group’s president Mark Mellman, who is also a columnist for The Hill, said in a statement. 

Whoever wins the primary on Aug. 3 will likely be successful in the general election given the district’s considerable Democratic tilt. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Brad Schneider David Trone Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Josh Gottheimer Marcia Fudge Ted Deutch
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