Bernie Sanders Campaigns With Nina Turner In Cleveland

Sen. Sanders and Nina Turner hold their hands in the air on stage. (Photo by Aiden Keenan).

Aiden Keenan, Photo Editor

900 people attended a get-out-the-vote rally at the Agora Theater in downtown Cleveland in support of Nina Turner. Alongside her were Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ohio State Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and other local political figures. Turner is running to fill the seat in the House of Representatives vacated by Marcia Fudge. In March, Fudge resigned to become the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, leaving Ohio’s 11th Congressional District — and John Carroll — unrepresented in the House. 

Turner’s get-out-the-vote events come at a crucial time for her campaign, as polls show her with a seven-point lead over Brown. Sanders spoke about key policy issues that he and Turner agree on, such as the fight for an increased federal minimum wage, expanded child tax credits and establishment of Medicare for all. After the speeches concluded, Turner, Sanders and other key supporters joined voters on a march to the polls, with many attendees choosing to vote early that afternoon. 

Turner’s get-out-the-vote events have included a rally at a polling place in Akron Saturday morning as well as Saturday’s rally at the Agora Theater with local leaders and a march to the polls in the afternoon. The first hour of the Agora event was filled with speeches from physicians discussing the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the founder of Our Revolution encouraging supporters to mobilize themselves and others, and other local leaders and politicians who have publicly endorsed Turner in the race. 

Typically, elections for the House come on even-numbered years and representatives serve two years in a term. However, Ohio’s 11th District will have a special election due to the resignation of Marcia Fudge. Ohio’s 15th District will also hold a special election in November because its representative, Steve Stivers, resigned to become president of the Ohio state Chamber of Commerce. These are the only two House seats with elections this year; as a result, big names from Washington continue to canvas on all sides of these races. Turner has raised over $4.5 million for the race, with Turner’s main challenger, Shontel Brown, trailing significantly in fundraising, with only $2.1 million

More than a dozen Democratic candidates are running for Fudge’s seat, including frontrunners Nina Turner and Shontel Brown. Turner is a former assistant professor of history at Cuyahoga Community College, former councilwoman for the Cleveland City Council and former Ohio State Senator. Brown is a Cleveland native, former councilwoman on the Warrensville Heights City Council and the first woman and Black person to serve as ​​Chairwoman of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. After the primary on Tuesday, Aug. 3, the race will be narrowed down to one Democratic and one Republican candidate, with the general election upcoming in November. Laverne Gore and Felicia Ross will compete for the Republican nomination.

The August primary will likely determine who will next represent the 11th District, as a Republican has not represented this district in the House since the 1980s. Residents have until early October to register to vote in the general election. As the race gains national attention, campaign events are likely to continue over the coming months, mere minutes away from campus. Ohio residents can register to vote until 30 days before the election online through the Ohio Secretary of State website. Individuals who are not yet registered can mail a completed voter registration form, available at University Heights City Hall or several public libraries in the area.