A former Ohio state senator and high ranking member of Bernie sander’s most recent presidential campaign has thrown her hat in the ring for the state’s soon-to-be vacated 11th Congressional District U.S. House seat.
Democrat Nina Turner signaled her intentions Wednesday by filing the requisite paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Turner served as Sanders’ national co-chair as well as a national surrogate for his 2016 campaign. The former Ohio state legislator became Sanders’ most prominent Black ally by traveling with him across the country, introducing him at rallies and helping him shape the campaign’s Black voter outreach in states like South Carolina.
Her move for a Congressional run comes just one day after it was announced that Joe Biden intended to make Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge the U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary-designate. If confirmed, Fudge’s Congressional seat would officially be up for grabs as the incumbent would be forced to resign in favor of the presidential cabinet.
The possibility of Turner running for Congress was “exciting,” Sander’s former spokesperson Briahna Joy Gray said Wednesday before Turner filed her candidacy papers, the Hill reported.
“I think it’s a very exciting prospect for a lot of folks on the left,” Gray said in reference to the progressive arm of the Democratic Party that Sanders’ candidacy represented.
Turner has an enviable wealth of political experience aside from her key involvement in Sanders’ influential campaign.
Prior to being appointed to the Ohio State Senate in 2008, Turner served as a member of the Cleveland City Council beginning in 2006.
During her tenure in the State Senate, Turner served as the minority Whip while representing the state’s 25th District. After running an unsuccessful campaign for Ohio secretary of state in 2014, she decided against seeking re-election for her Senate seat.
In the months after Sanders suspended his 2020 presidential campaign, Turner founded a progressive-leaning public affairs firm.
The Amare Public Affairs firm could provide a glimpse of the core tenets upon which Turner will base her upcoming Congressional campaign.
“This moment in American history demands that progressive voices play a central role in the national conversation around a whole range of issues. The future is now. For too long, the voices of Black people, other people of color, women, and progressives were left out of that conversation, and our country has suffered as a result. We are living in a time when people, especially millennials and Generation Z, are demanding socially-conscious solutions from governments and corporations,” Turner said back in September. “We can build a better country and a more just society by engaging with each other in a meaningful way on the root causes of societal problems. That starts with ensuring our voice is heard from the streets of our forgotten cities to the roads of rural communities to Main Street America, and finally, to the halls of power in the public and private sectors.”
However, Turner did not immediately issue a statement about her candidacy after her Congressional candidacy was revealed.
If the U.S. Senate confirms Fudge to be the next HUD secretary, Ohio’s 11th Congressional District’s seat will have to be decided by a special election. Cleveland.com reported that there is likely to be “A large field of candidates” vying for the coveted House seat as Democrats look to maintain their majority. Turner was among those mentioned as likely candidates.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.