Nina Turner

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Nina Turner
Nina Turner, former state senator for Ohio's 25th district served as MC for the rally speaking at the People's Rally, Washington DC (31070090265).jpg
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 25th district
In office
September 15, 2008 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Lance Mason
Succeeded by Kenny Yuko
Personal details
Born Nina Hudson
(1967-12-07) December 7, 1967 (age 49)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jeffery Turner
Children 1 son
Education Cleveland State University (BA, MA)

Nina Turner (born December 7, 1967) is an American politician from the State of Ohio. Turner, a Democrat, served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 2008 to 2014, and was elected to be the chamber’s Minority Whip in the 129th General Assembly. A supporter of the progressive movement, Turner has been characterized as a rising star in the Democratic Party. She endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016[1] and became an active surrogate for him.[2][3]

Born to working-class parents in Cleveland, Ohio, Turner began to work part-time at age 14, in order to help to her mother, who struggled to provide for Turner and her six siblings.[4] She received a Master of Arts degree from Cleveland State University,[5] and began her career as a legislative aide in the State Senate. She was elected to the Cleveland City Council in 2005, and served in the council until her election to the State Senate in 2008.[6]

In 2016, she was offered the role of vice-presidential running mate by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, but declined, citing her commitment to the Democratic Party.[7] Since then, she has remained active in progressive politics, and became President of the Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution in 2017, taking over from former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver.[8]

Life and career[edit]

Turner is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She was born Nina Hudson to teenage parents, the first of seven children.[4] 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.[4] She graduated from Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy High School in 1986.[4] She did not continue her education immediately, instead taking a variety of jobs, including fast food and working at a Payless shoe store. While at Payless, she met Jeffery Turner, the man who became her husband.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] Turner was seen on CNN'S State of the Union with Jake Tapper on April 2, 2017 and now works for the network as a contributor.

In June 2017, Turner began a regular segment on The Real News Network entitled "The Nina Turner Show." The first episode was broadcast online June 11, 2017 from the People's Summit and featured an interview with Bernie Sanders.[9]

Ohio Senate[edit]

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 served as Minority Whip in the 130th General Assembly.

Men's health bill[edit]

In March 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.”[10]

Rape custody law[edit]

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.[11] 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.[11] 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.[11]

2014 election for Secretary of State[edit]

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.[12] On September 18, Bill Clinton officially supported Turner's candidacy.[13] She was defeated 60%–35% by Husted.[14]

Presidential election of 2016[edit]

Turner speaks to Women for Bernie, February 2016

In the 2016 presidential election, Turner initially supported Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination,[1] but switched her support to Bernie Sanders.[2] After Clinton won the nomination, Turner was invited by Jill Stein to become the Green Party's nominee for Vice President, but Turner declined, stating, "I believe that the Democratic Party is worth fighting for."[15]

Electoral history[edit]

Ohio Senate 25th district 2010 election
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2010 Nina Turner 73,694 100.00% Unopposed
Ohio Secretary of State 2014 election
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Libertarian Votes Pct
2014 Nina Turner 1,074,475 35.5% Jon Husted 1,811,020 59.8% Kevin Knedler 141,292 4.7%

Personal life[edit]

Turner is married to Jeffery Turner, Sr., and has a son, Jeffery Turner, Jr. They reside in Cleveland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ohio's Nina Turner jumps from Clinton to Sanders". POLITICO. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  2. ^ a b Kosich, John (February 1, 2016). "Former State Senator Nina Turner's growing role as campaign surrogate for Bernie Sanders". WEWS-TV. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Ohio Democrat Nina Turner Is Trying To Convince Black Voters To Take A Chance On Sanders". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Gomez, Henry J. (November 22, 2009). "Nina Turner's future bright due to gutsy stand on Issue 6". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-04-01 – via Cleveland.com. 
  5. ^ a b "Nina Turner." Who's Who Among African Americans. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2017. Retrieved via Biography in Context database, 2017-06-30.
  6. ^ a b Troy, Tom (July 1, 2013). "Politics: State Sen. Nina Turner from Cleveland to run for Ohio secretary of state". The Blade (Toledo). toledoblade.com. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  7. ^ Denvir, Daniel (September 8, 2016). "Nina Turner: Reflections on the political revolution's past and future". Salon. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  8. ^ "Nina Turner, a Democratic Party critic, takes the resigns of Sanders-founded group". Washington Post. June 29, 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-29. 
  9. ^ Network, The Real News (2017-06-12). "Premiere of the Nina Turner Show with Bernie Sanders". The Real News Network. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ a b c Ohio senator trying to change rape custody law, WOUB Public Media, Columbus, OH: Ohio University, 15 January 2014, Burgeois, C., Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Sanner, Ann. "Bill Clinton backs Nina Turner for Secretary of State". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Jeremy, Pelzer. "Jon Husted wins Ohio Secretary of State race". AP. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Denvir, Daniel (September 8, 2016). "Nina Turner: Reflections on the political revolution's past and future". Salon. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Nina Turner at Wikimedia Commons