Turner, a former Ohio state senator and co-chair of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, has also received backing from other top liberal lawmakers in Washington as she strives to fill the 11th Congressional District seat that was vacated by former U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, who took a job with the Biden administration.
The district’s Republican and Democratic primaries will be held Aug. 3, with the general election set for Nov. 2, according to Ballotpedia.
Progressives are pushing to fill the seat with their favored candidate in a GOP-dominated state that currently has 11 Republican Congress members and just three Democrats.
“I think it is extremely clear that Nina Turner is the candidate in this race that answers to the people of Ohio first and foremost,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said in an interview with local news outlet WKYC-TV. “She is a candidate that I think can be trusted to bring people’s voices to Washington.”
Ocasio-Cortez said she endorsed Turner because of her stance on policies that progressives have labeled priority issues, including the climate and labor unions.
“There’s a lot of dark money, there’s a lot of D.C. and insider folks trying to tell Ohioans what to do,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed. “It’s really important that we have a champion that has been in our community that we can trust with a track record of fighting for working people, our health care, environmental justice, living wages, the right to unionize.”
Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner is running for a U.S. House seat in a special election in Ohio. (Getty Images)
Sanders is also expected to hit the campaign trail next week as Turner’s race comes to a close.
The independent senator from Vermont described the Ohio election as a key race for the Democratic Party.
“The upcoming congressional election in Ohio has everything to do with the future of the Democratic Party,” Sanders said in a tweet earlier this month. “Will Democrats stand with the working class and have the courage to take on wealthy special interests? I know that Nina Turner will, which is why I strongly support her.”
Other Democrats – like U.S. Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – have also endorsed the Ohio candidate.
Turner is seen as a top contender in a race against 12 other Democrats vying to fill the seat vacated by Fudge, who left earlier this year to become President Biden’s housing secretary.
Local Democratic Party chairwoman Shontel Brown, a moderate, is believed to be Turner’s biggest challenger.
Brown’s backers include Hillary Clinton and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the House majority whip.