|Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 25th district
September 15, 2008 – December 31, 2014
|Preceded by||Lance Mason|
|Succeeded by||Kenny Yuko|
December 7, 1967 |
|Spouse(s)||Jeffery Turner, Sr. (1 child)|
|Alma mater||Cuyahoga Community College (A.A.)
Cleveland State University (B.A.) (M.A.)
Life and career
Turner is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She was born Nina Hudson to teenage parents on December 7, 1967, the first of seven children. Her father and mother had split up by the time she reached the age of five. At 14, she began working part-time jobs, giving “every dime” that she earned to her mother. She graduated from Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy High School in 1986. She did not continue her education immediately, instead taking a variety of jobs, including flipping burgers and working at a Payless shoe store. While at Payless, she met Jeffery Turner, the man who became her husband. Subsequently, she returned to school, receiving an Associate of Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College, followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts (1997) degree from Cleveland State University.
She began her professional career as a legislative aide to then state Senator Rhine McLin. Senator Turner returned to her hometown to serve in the administration of Mayor Michael White where she was quickly promoted to Executive Assistant of Legislative Affairs. She later lobbied on behalf of Cleveland’s school children at the state and federal level as the Director of Government Affairs for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Turner first ran for the office of Cleveland City Council Representative for Ward One 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’ vacant seat. In the November 2005 election, Nina Turner defeated Tonya Jones to become Ward One City Council Representative.
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, and resigned her City Council seat to accept the appointment on September 15, 2008. In the 128th General Assembly, Turner served as 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 half way through the 129th General Assembly. She is continuing to serve as Minority Whip in the 130th General Assembly.
Men's health bill
In March of 2012, Turner introduced a bill to regulate men's reproductive health. Under her proposed S.B. 307, 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 stated that 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.
“Even the FDA recommends that doctors make sure that assessments are taken that target the nature of the symptoms, whether it’s physical or psychological,” Turner said. “I certainly want to stand up for men’s health and take this seriously and legislate it the same way mostly men say they want to legislate a woman’s womb.”
Rape custody law
In January 2014, it was reported that Turner was making efforts to try to change Ohio's rape custody law that permits visitation and/or custody by men who father children because of rape or sexual assault committed against a woman or girl. Turner desires to protect rape victims/survivors and children conceived due to rape by preventing parental custody rights from being provided to rapists who fathered the children. She stated that it may be difficult for people to contemplate that a person would desire parental rights for a child conceived due to rape, though it does occur.
On July 1, 2013, Turner declared her candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State, challenging Republican Jon Husted with whom she has differed significantly, especially on the issue of voting rights. On September 18, Bill Clinton officially supported Turner's candidacy.
Turner is married to Jeffery Turner, Sr., and has a son, Jeffery Turner, Jr. They reside in Cleveland.
- Gomez, Henry J. (2009-11-27). "Nina Turner's future bright due to gutsy stand on Issue 6". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- "Senator Nina Turner (D-Ohio) Biography". Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- Turner wins council seat
- Borchardt, Jackie (March 12, 2012). "Bill introduced to regulate men's reproductive health; Part of a trend, she likens the bill to men legislating ‘a woman’s womb.’". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- Ohio senator trying to change rape custody law, WOUB Public Media, Columbus, OH: Ohio University, 15 January 2014, Burgeois, C., Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- Gomez, Henry J. (July 1, 2013). "Nina Turner announces bid for Ohio secretary of state; Democrat hopes to unseat Jon Husted". cleveland.com (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- Sanner, Ann. "Bill Clinton backs Nina Turner for Secretary of State". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 September 2014.