Nina Turner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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) (cropped).jpg
President of Our Revolution
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
Appointed byBernie Sanders
Preceded byPosition established
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 25th district
In office
September 15, 2008 – December 31, 2014
Preceded byLance Mason
Succeeded byKenny Yuko
Member of the Cleveland City Council
In office
ConstituencyWard One
Personal details
Nina Hudson

(1967-12-07) December 7, 1967 (age 51)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jeffery Turner
EducationCuyahoga Community College
Cleveland State University (BA, MA)

Nina Hudson Turner (born December 7, 1967) is an American politician from Ohio. A member of the Democratic Party, she was a Cleveland City Councillor from 2006 to 2008 and Ohio State Senator from 2008 until 2014. She later was a surrogate for Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign.

In 2016, she was also offered the role of vice presidential running mate by Jill Stein, the presidential nominee of the Green Party, but declined, saying "I believe that the Democratic Party is worth fighting for."[1] In 2017, Turner became president of the Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution. On February 21, 2019, Turner was named a national co-chair of Sanders's 2020 campaign.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Turner is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She was born Nina Hudson to teenage parents, the first of seven children.[3] 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.[3] She graduated from Cleveland's John F. Kennedy High School in 1986.[3] 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.[3] 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.[4]

Political career[edit]

Legislative aide[edit]

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.

Cleveland City Council (2006–2008)[edit]

Turner made an unsuccessful run for the 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' vacant seat. In the November 2005 election, Nina Turner defeated Tonya Jones to become the Council Member for Ward One.[5] Turner served in the Cleveland City Council from 2006 to 2008.[6]

Ohio State Senate (2008–2014)[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 halfway through the 129th General Assembly. She served as Minority Whip in the 130th General Assembly in which by then her district comprised the eastern portion 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).

Men's health bill[edit]

As a political statement against legislation attempting to restrict women's access to contraception and abortion,[7] 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."[8] The proposed legislation was not meant to be passed, but as a way of bringing attention to similar bills targeted towards women.[7]

Rape custody law[edit]

In January 2014, Nina Turner led 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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[9]

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.[10] On September 18, Bill Clinton officially supported Turner's candidacy.[11] She was defeated 60%–35% by Husted.[12]

2016 presidential election[edit]

In the 2016 presidential election, Turner initially supported Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination,[13] but switched her support to Bernie Sanders.[14] 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."[1]

Turner has worked for CNN as a contributor. In June 2017, Turner began a regular segment on The Real News Network entitled "The Nina Turner Show."[15]

Our Revolution[edit]

In 2017, Turner became the president and public face of Our Revolution, a progressive political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign. According to a May 2018 review by Politico, Our Revolution had year into her leadership become "flailing" and "in disarray".[16] By May 2018, the organization's monthly fundraising totals were one-third of what they were in May 2017. According to Politico, the group operated primarily as a vehicle for Bernie 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 in the group, as board members and Sanders 2016 presidential delegates questioned Our Revolution president Nina Turner's actions and motives. Figures in the organization raised questions as to whether Turner was using the organization for a presidential run of her own, questioned whether she was settling scores with the Democratic National Committee from 2016, and criticized her hiring associates to senior positions within the organization. One of Turner's hires to a senior position was Tezlyn Figaro, who frequently appeared on Fox News to praise Trump and has made anti-immigration comments. Our Revolution also endorsed Dennis Kucinich in race for the Democratic nomination for the 2018 Ohio governorship; questions were raised about Turner's close relation to Kucinich's running mate.[16]

Bernie Sanders' 2020 Presidential Campaign[edit]

On February 21, 2019, Turner was named a national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.[2]

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. 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.


  1. ^ a b Denvir, Daniel (September 8, 2016). "Nina Turner: Reflections on the political revolution's past and future". Salon. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  2. ^ a b Perticone, Joe (2019-02-21). "Bernie Sanders announces new national co-chairs: Our Revolution President and former Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner, Rep. Ro Khanna, San Juan Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen". @JoePerticone. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  3. ^ a b c d 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
  4. ^ "Nina Turner." Who's Who Among African Americans. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2017. Retrieved via Biography in Context database, 2017-06-30.
  5. ^ Troy, Tom (July 1, 2013). "Politics: State Sen. Nina Turner from Cleveland to run for Ohio secretary of state". The Blade (Toledo). Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  6. ^ "Voting rights at center of hot race". mydaytondailynews. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  7. ^ a b Tomassoni, Teresa (15 March 2012). "In Protest, Democrats Zero In On Men's Reproductive Health". NPR. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Gomez, Henry J. (July 1, 2013). "Nina Turner announces bid for Ohio secretary of state; Democrat hopes to unseat Jon Husted". (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  11. ^ Sanner, Ann. "Bill Clinton backs Nina Turner for Secretary of State". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  12. ^ Jeremy, Pelzer. "Jon Husted wins Ohio Secretary of State race". AP. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Ohio's Nina Turner jumps from Clinton to Sanders". POLITICO. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Network, The Real News (2017-06-12). "Premiere of the Nina Turner Show with Bernie Sanders". The Real News Network. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  16. ^ a b "Bernie's army in disarray". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-05-21.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nina Turner at Wikimedia Commons