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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson endorses Nina Turner for U.S. House seat in Ohio's 11th Congressional District

"She is battle tested and uniquely qualified to represent us in Washington -- not just in her experience but in her commitment to the people."

CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video aired on March 19, 2021

On Wednesday, Nina Turner picked up a key endorsement as she looks to replace Marcia Fudge as representative in Ohio's 11th Congressional District. 

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has lent his support to Turner, calling her "uniquely qualified" to represent the district in Washington.

“When we consider the needs of the 11th Congressional District and the moment we’re in as a nation - a moment that calls for a higher commitment to social justice, to create economic growth and development through the lens of equity, and to disrupt systemic issues with systemic solutions, now is the time to elect Nina Turner. She is battle tested and uniquely qualified to represent us in Washington -- not just in her experience but in her commitment to the people. I know Nina and have worked and served with her on many complex issues that positively impacted Cleveland residents, including greater educational and training opportunities for our children, new business development and safe housing for seniors. I know Nina. Cleveland knows Nina. I am confident that Nina will represent us well and for that she has my endorsement for Congress.” said Jackson in a statement endorsing Turner.

A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, the 52-year-old Turner served on the Cleveland City Council and the Ohio State Senate before gaining a national following as a surrogate and later co-chair for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaigns. Known for her left-of-center views such as support for Medicare for all, she has never shied away from speaking out against not just Republicans but even her fellow Democrats (she earlier referred to voting for now President-elect Joe Biden as eating half a "bowl of s--t").

Turner announced last week that she had retrieved her petitions from the Cuyahoga County Board of Election. Securing petitions is one of the first steps needed to for a congressional candidate to appear on the ballot.

In response to Jackson's endorsement, Turner wrote, “I am truly humbled to have the endorsement and support of MY Mayor. Thank you Mayor Jackson for your confidence and trust. We have worked together on many issues to lift the families of Cleveland -- and although the challenges are great, so are the opportunities. As the next Congresswoman of the 11th Congressional District I look forward to being a partner with you to serve the needs of our great city and the entire district.”

Jackson's endorsement comes as Turner and opponent Shontel Brown continue to receive backing from high profile politicians and organizations in the countdown to the special primary electon on August 3. The special election will then take place on November 2. 

RELATED: Special election for Ohio's 11th congressional district will be held on Nov. 2, 2021

Turner has received endorsements from progressive leaning members of Congress, including Andy Levin of Michigan’s 9th District and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s 5th District and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan’s 13th District. In addition, the progressive policy group MoveOn has also endorsed Turner.

Locally, Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin has also come out in support of Turner this week.

Mark Naymik and Tyler Carey contributed to this story

Editor's Note: Russ Mitchell spoke with Nina Turner on March 15, 2021. You can watch in the player below:

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