Activist Nina Turner is officially mounting a 2022 bid for Congress that will likely set up a rematch against incumbent Rep. Shontel Brown (D-OH), according to the Plain Dealer, teeing up a moderate vs. progressive showdown in Ohio this spring.
Turner and Brown faced off in 2021 to replace former Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who left her post to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The race was a spectacle of national attention, with Turner’s progressive platform squaring off with Brown’s more moderate strategy.
Turner ran on proposals like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, drawing progressive backers like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and New York’s Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to her corner. But Brown, who was supported by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (SC), among others, ultimately won the district’s August 2021 Democratic primary by about 4,300 votes.
Turner has never shied away from mulling on a rematch. In September, she filed a statement of candidacy for a 2022 run, which allowed her to explore a bid against Brown without formally committing to the race. In a December call with Our Revolution, Turner said she was keeping “all options on the table,” adding, “I never stopped doing the work.”
Turner is now relaunching her candidacy just days before the Feb. 2 filing deadline, with Ohio’s Democratic primary a few months away on May 3. While that’s not much time from start to finish, Turner could benefit from the recency of her last campaign and the familiarity of her opponent.
Ohio is currently undergoing redistricting, meaning the district lines have the potential to change. But Ohio’s 11th District, which Brown currently represents and where Turner previously ran, is firmly blue, making a Republican victory highly unlikely.
During Brown’s first year in Congress, she joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus and voted in favor of the Build Back Better proposal and the bipartisan infrastructure framework, among other Democratic priorities.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ campaign arm doesn’t endorse opponents of sitting incumbents, but it wouldn’t be unusual for progressive members of Congress to issue individual endorsements of primary challengers.