Ohio congressional candidate Nina Turner said Wednesday that “the establishment is doing everything they can to stop our movement” shortly after erstwhile Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton publicly threw her support behind Shontel Brown, the leader of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party and Turner’s biggest competitor in the race to fill the vacant U.S. House seat in the Buckeye State’s 11th district.
“Proud to be running a campaign that is 100% focused on working people,” tweeted Turner, a former Ohio state senator who shifted her support from Clinton to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) early in the 2016 presidential campaign. Turner went on to serve as national co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 presidential bid.
“I’m not taking any corporate PAC or lobbyist money,” Turner added.
Turner’s message came shortly after Clinton — who prevailed over Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary but lost to Donald Trump in the general election — endorsed Brown, noting that she “made history as the first Black woman to chair her county Dem Party.”
“She’ll work to help her state and our country recover from Covid,” Clinton added.
Following Clinton’s endorsement of her top primary rival, Turner tweeted, “$27 donation challenge!” — possible nod at the 2016 Democratic primary, when Sanders raked in record individual contributions averaging roughly $27 while the former secretary of state relied heavily on big donors.
According to recent polling data and fundraising figures, Turner is the clear frontrunner to win the seat left open by President Joe Biden’s selection of former Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Earlier this month, a survey paid for by the Turner campaign and conducted by the outside polling firm Tulchin Research found that Turner has the support of 50% of likely Democratic voters in Ohio’s 11th congressional district. Brown polled in a distant second, garnering the support of just 15% of likely voters.
“It is incredibly humbling to have the support of both the local community and national leaders on this journey,” Turner said in response to the poll, hinting at high-profile endorsements she’s scored in recent weeks from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the youth-led Sunrise Movement, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and others.
Turner — running on key issues such as Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and fighting economic inequality — has also significantly outraised her Democratic primary opponents, hauling in $3 million since the start of her campaign in December. As Politico reported earlier this month, Turner “has some 47,000 donors with an average contribution of $27.”