CLEVELAND — Less than six months after losing her bid for Congress to Shontel Brown, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner is coming back for another run. Turner has announced that she will seek the Democratic nod in the 11th Congressional District, setting up a rematch with Brown.
In an interview with 3News anchor and managing editor Russ Mitchell, Turner said her reason for running again is the same as it was in 2021. “Greater Cleveland deserves a champion. Cleveland is the largest poor city in the country and this region really deserves a leader that is going to fight not just vote the right way," Turner told Mitchell.
The 2022 Primary Election in Ohio is set for May 3.
Watch Turner's full 11-minute conversation on running for Congress in the video player below:
Brown defeated Turner in the Special Primary Election held in August of 2021 on her way to capturing the seat vacated by Marcia Fudge with a victory over Laverne Gore in the November General Election. Fudge left the House of Representatives in early 2021 after being tapped to serve in the Biden Administration as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, setting up a year-long battle to find her replacement.
Turner believes that there will be conditions in the rematch with Brown that will make it more advantageous for her to prevail this time. “The terrain is different. It’s not a special election. It’s not the only election that’s happening in the country. I believe more people will be engaged and watching this race,” she noted.
A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, the 54-year-old Turner served on 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. In 2021, Turner emerged as the early front-runner to replace Fudge, amassing more endorsements and campaign cash than Brown. However, Brown had an advantage in votes in Cuyahoga County, while Turner managed to just barely edge Brown further south in Summit County in the Special Primary.
Turner told Mitchell that she didn’t make the decision to run again lightly. She also recalled the bitter battle that took place in last summer’s Special Primary. “The ugly really came in with the corporatist money that was spent, the dark money that came into the race. It is very clear that although there were 13 people in the race, there was one major target and it was me. It was clearly an ‘Anybody but Nina’ campaign,” Turner said. “I ran a race on the issues and there were other forces that came in here and nationalized the race.”
The rematch between Brown and Turner will come as Ohio’s congressional map remains a question mark after the Supreme Court invalidated a Republican-drawn version of the map earlier this month. The 11th Congressional District, as drawn before the court’s intervention, is entirely based in Cuyahoga County.
“One way or the other, there will be new lines (on the congressional map) no matter what,” Turner added. “That will give the new portion of the district the opportunity to have a choice. Choice is important in elections.
Brown, meanwhile, has been busy since her election to Congress. Just a month after being sworn-in, she was appointed to serve on the House Committee for Oversight and Reform as well as the House Agriculture Committee.