|Intro||American historian and politician|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Politics Social science|
|Birth||7 December 1967, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA|
Nina Hudson Turner (born December 7, 1967) is an American politician and educator. A member of the Democratic Party, she was a Cleveland City Council Member from 2006 to 2008 and an Ohio State Senator from 2008 until 2014.
Turner was the Democratic nominee for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014, but lost in the general election against incumbent Jon Husted, receiving 35.5 percent of the vote. She supported Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign, and became president of the Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution in 2017. She served as a national co-chair of Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign.
Turner was a candidate in the 2021 Ohio's 11th congressional district special election. She conceded the race after losing to Shontel Brown.
Early life and education
Turner is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She was born Nina Hudson to teen parents, Faye and Taalib, the first of seven children. Her father and mother separated by the time Turner was five years old. Her mother worked as a preacher and as a nurse's aide in a senior home, struggled with high blood pressure all her life and died in 1992 at the age of 42.
Turner graduated from Cleveland's John F. Kennedy High School in 1986. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Master of Arts degree from Cleveland State University. She has an Associate in Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College where she is now a tenured assistant professor of history.
She began her professional career as an aide in 2001 to then-state Senator Rhine McLin. Turner worked for Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. She later lobbied for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District at the state and federal levels.
Cleveland City Council (2006–2008)
Turner made a run for Cleveland City Council in 2001, but was defeated by the incumbent, Joe Jones. In November 2004, Jones resigned his City Council seat. His wife, Tonya Jones, was the top vote-getter in a September nine-way, non-partisan primary race to select a candidate to fill Jones' seat. In the November 2005 election, Turner defeated Tonya Jones to become the Council Member for Ward One, the first African American woman in the seat.
Turner served on Cleveland City Council from 2006 to 2008.
Ohio State Senate (2008–2014)
In September 2008, Senator Lance Mason resigned his 25th District seat in the Ohio Senate to accept an appointment to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Turner was unanimously selected by the Ohio Senate Democratic caucus to serve the remainder of Mason's four-year Senate term. She resigned her City Council seat to accept the appointment on September 15, 2008. In the 128th General Assembly, Turner was the Ranking Minority member on the Senate Highways & Transportation and Judiciary Criminal Justice Committees.
Turner won a full term in 2010, running unopposed in the general election. She was elected as Minority Whip halfway through the 129th General Assembly. She was Minority Whip in the following General Assembly. By then her district consisted of the eastern side of Cuyahoga County as well as half of Lake County (including the Village of Fairport Harbor, the Village of Grand River, the City of Painesville and parts of Painesville Township; but excluding the City of Kirtland, the Village of Kirtland Hills, the Village of Waite Hill, the City of Willoughby Hills and most of the City of Mentor).
Turner considered running against incumbent Marcia Fudge in the 2012 Democratic primary for Ohio's 11th congressional district but declined, opting to stay in the State Senate.
As a political statement against legislation attempting to restrict women's access to contraception and abortion, in March 2012, Turner introduced a bill to regulate men's reproductive health. Before getting a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs, a man would have to get a notarized affidavit signed by a recent sexual partner affirming his impotency, consult with a sex therapist and receive a cardiac stress test. She said the proposed statute would be parallel to recent legislation written by male legislators restricting women's reproductive health and that she was equally concerned about men's reproductive health. The proposed legislation was not meant to be passed, but as a way of bringing attention to similar bills targeted towards women.
In January 2014, Turner led unsuccessful efforts to change Ohio's rape custody law. It permits visitation and custody by men who father children via rape or sexual assault against a woman or girl. Turner wanted to protect rape victims/survivors and children conceived as a result of rape by preventing parental custody rights from being provided to rapists who fathered their children. She said it may be difficult for people to contemplate that a person would desire parental rights for a child conceived due to rape, though it occurs. She and fellow Democrat Charleta Tavares introduced SB-171. It would allow rape victims to file court claims terminating their attacker's parental rights and permit a mother to place her child up for adoption without being required to seek her attacker's approval. The bill was stalled in the senate.
2014 Secretary of State election
On July 1, 2013, Turner declared her candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State, challenging Republican Jon Husted. On September 18, 2014, Bill Clinton officially supported Turner's candidacy. Turner was defeated 60%–35% by Husted.
Community college professor
Turner has been a member of the faculty at her alma mater Cuyahoga Community College since 1998. She is currently a tenured assistant professor of history there, where she teaches African-American history, African-American women's history, American history, and women's studies.
Career on the national stage
2016 presidential election
In the 2016 presidential election, Turner initially supported Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination but switched her support to Bernie Sanders. After Clinton won the nomination, Turner was invited by Jill Stein to become the Green Party's nominee for Vice President, but she declined saying, "I believe that the Democratic Party is worth fighting for." Turner went on to decline to endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States Presidential Election against Donald Trump, saying that she would endorse the party's platform in the election not an individual.
In December 2016, Turner served as a member of the DNC Unity Reform Commission in Washington D.C. to address concerns that arose regarding the presidential nominating process, particularly regarding the roles of caucuses, superdelegates, and corporate donations.
In 2016, Turner became the president and public face of Our Revolution, a progressive political action organization spun out of Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign.
According to a May 2018 review by Politico, Our Revolution had become "flailing" and "in disarray" a year into her leadership. By May 2018, the organization's monthly fundraising totals were one-third of what they had been May 2017. According to Politico, the group operated primarily as a vehicle for Sanders and had "shown no ability to tip a major Democratic election in its favor—despite possessing Sanders' email list, the envy of the Democratic Party—and can claim no major wins in 2018 as its own." There was infighting within the group as figures in the organization speculated whether Turner was using the organization for a presidential run of her own. They questioned whether she was settling scores with the Democratic National Committee from 2016 and criticized her hiring of associates to senior positions within the organization. Our Revolution also endorsed Dennis Kucinich in the race for the Democratic nomination for the 2018 Ohio governorship; questions were raised about Turner's close relation to Kucinich's running mate.
Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign
On February 21, 2019, Turner was named a national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign. She appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Meet the Press, Politics Nation, State of the Union, and other programs in support of Sanders. During this campaign, a few weeks before the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Turner criticized eventual nominee Joe Biden, comparing voting for him to "eat[ing] a bowl of shit, [but] all you’ve got to do is eat half of it [...] It's still shit". Turner declined to endorse Joe Biden in the 2020 United States Presidential election against incumbent Donald Trump after Biden had become the Democratic nominee.
In September 2020, in partnership with Mercury Public Affairs, Turner launched the progressive public affairs firm Amare Public Affairs.
2021 Ohio's 11th congressional district special election
On December 9, 2020, the media began to report that President-elect Joe Biden had plans to appoint Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as his nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, The same day, Turner filed paperwork to register a committee by the name of "Nina for Us" with the Federal Election Commission. On December 10, Fudge's nomination was made official; five days later, Turner announced her candidacy in the special election for Ohio's 11th congressional district. Turner was considered the frontrunner in the Democratic primary for the seat, but lost to Shontel Brown.
Turner has worked for CNN as a contributor. In June 2017, she began a regular segment on The Real News Network called The Nina Turner Show. In 2018, Turner portrayed a fictitious version of herself in the pilot episode of the television series Black Lightning, praising actor Cress Williams' character Jefferson Pierce.
|2014||Nina Turner||1,074,475||35.5%||Jon Husted||1,811,020||59.8%||Kevin Knedler||141,292||4.7%|
2021 Ohio 11th congressional district special election
|Democratic||John E. Barnes Jr.||746||1.00|
|Democratic||Seth J. Corey||483||0.70|
|Democratic||Pamela M. Pinkney||170||0.20|
|Democratic||James Jerome Bell||91||0.10|
Turner is married to Jeffery Turner, Sr. They have a son, Jeffrey Turner, Jr., a lieutenant in the Ohio National Guard. They reside in Cleveland while Turner works out of Washington, D.C.
Turner is a Christian and has publicly stated how her faith forms a basis for her political convictions.