Nina Turner, the former Cleveland city councilwoman, Ohio state senator, and national co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign, on Wednesday afternoon filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission, signaling she will be running to represent Ohio's 11th Congressional District.
The filing followed speculation regarding Turner's intentions after President-elect Joe Biden tapped Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who represents that district, as his nominee for Housing and Urban Development secretary.
Progressive leaders and activists hailed the news of Turner's candidacy. Akron, Ohio City Councilwoman Tara Samples told Common Dreams that "Nina was built for this."
"It's the right moment and the right time," said Samples, a close friend of Turner and former candidate for Ohio lieutenant governor. "She brings experience, credibility, and is well-versed on the issues. She will fight for the people... She's been a councilwoman and a state senator. She understands government on all levels."
Trevor P. Martin, a member of the organizing committee of the Central Ohio chapter of Our Revolution—the Sanders-linked political action committee led by Turner from 2017 to 2019—called her "a strong progressive voice, not just for the people of Ohio, but for the nation."
Martin told Common Dreams that "there is no better person to represent the people of the 11th Congressional District. Nina was born in the district, went to grade school and college in the district, and has been serving the people of northeastern Ohio for well over a decade."
"With these hands, we will put her in Congress," he added.
Here we go! Nina Turner is officially running for Congress! https://t.co/5RazP1Unam
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) December 9, 2020
Just sharing this clip again now that our dragon slayer is running for Congress:
“Progressives are on a mission. We have two dragons that we have to slay: The dragon of neofascism and the dragon of neoliberalism.”
— Ryan Knight (@ProudSocialist) December 10, 2020
Grassroots progressive support for a Turner House run existed even before Tuesday's news that Biden would pick Fudge for the top HUD post, but swelled in the wake of the announcement.
I went on @thehill's Rising this morning to discuss the possibility of a @ninaturner run for congress, and what influence she could have in office as part of a progressive minority.https://t.co/X0T9Ggdf2J pic.twitter.com/XVxTk9nUhi
— BJG (@briebriejoy) December 9, 2020
Turner had remained coy in the face of questions about whether she would seek the office.
"Currently, there is no vacancy in the district and if it becomes vacant, things will unfold as they should," she told Politico for an article published Tuesday.
When pressed about running, she said, "Well, there's been an outcry for me to at least consider it." "You know, I'm a public servant through and through, but I'm just going to leave it there for now."
— Bay Area for Bernie (@BayArea4Bernie) December 9, 2020
Prominent progressive voices including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Cori Bush were among those urging Turner to run.
"She'd be a fantastic ally for the movement in Congress," Khanna told Politico.
Turner "would be a dream to work alongside," added Bush.