Nina Turner has never been shy about voicing her opinion. Now former secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has given hers – she’s endorsing Shontel Brown over the former Ohio State Senator and campaign surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders in an Ohio congressional race.
“I’m proud to endorse @ShontelMBrown for Congress in the OH special election.,” Clinton tweeted on Wednesday, June 16, along with a link to Brown’s campaign website. “Shontel made history as the first Black woman to chair her county Dem party, and she’ll work to help her state and our country recover from COVID. Join me in supporting her.”
The mixed reactions to Clinton’s tweet were almost immediate. Some of Turner’s supporters thanked Clinton for her endorsement, calling it “the kiss of death” and stating it would guarantee Turner a victory.
“Thank you for this gift to the Nina Turner campaign. This kiss of death could only be improved upon if Pelosi endorsed her at the exact same time,” @BerkmanOnlyfans tweeted. “Hillary kiss of death let’s go,” @SocialistMMA echoed. Then user @zoomerpolycule chimed in, writing “as a nina turner (sic) supporter, thank you so much for this endorsement.”
However, there were some who said they would support Brown due to Clinton’s endorsement. “Fantastic! I have donated and will continue to donate. Your endorsement is wonderful news. Go Shontel!” @alissakmclean wrote. “Follow, and Donate folks @ShontelMBrown,” @Jeffdc5 tweeted along with a gif praising Clinton’s endorsement.
One user @RussOnPolitics even said Clinton’s endorsement was a form of vengeance against Turner for failing to endorse her in 2016. “Hillary Clinton’s revenge: She has endorsed Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown over 2016 Judas Nina Turner in the #OH11 special election. Turner will still win the Dem primary, but this is Hillary’s way of saying to Nina: I didn’t forget. Well done, Madame Secretary,” @RussOnPolitics tweeted.
Turner and Brown are the frontrunners in a crowded primary race for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, which includes seven other candidates. The seat was vacated by Marcia Fudge after she was appointed as the nation’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary. The special primary election is scheduled for Aug. 3.
A recent poll suggests Turner is the heavily favored of the two. According to CleveScene, the poll shows “fully 50% of likely Democratic voters in the district support Nina Turner.” The poll also shows Brown, while second to Turner, only holds 15% of the vote.
The two differ on several issues, including Israel. While Turner supports a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Brown holds a more mainstream pro-Israel political view.
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“In times like these the United States must stand firmly behind our close ally Israel,” Brown told the Jewish Insider. “Security and justice for Israelis and security and justice for Palestinians are two sides of the same coin – you don’t get one without the other. Both are equal people in God’s eyes, and both deserve the same,” Brown told the publication in a separate interview.
Brown also has the support of several high-profile progressives, including Sanders, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and other celebrities and influential figures. The chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, Brown responded she was “thrilled and honored” to have Clinton’s support.
“Secretary Hillary Clinton has been an inspiration to me for decades. She is a champion for working families. I’m thrilled and honored that she endorsed our campaign for Congress,” Brown tweeted. “We have so much work to do for Northeast Ohio. Let’s win this campaign, and get to work.”
Turner expressed gratefulness for her current lead in the polls. “Working people in Northeast Ohio and across this nation deserve a leader who will center the needs of the poor, the working poor, and the barely middle class,” Turner said in a statement. “I am proud to be known as a leader who will partner with anyone who puts the interest of the people first, has the courage to ask for more and the unique ability to build a broad coalition to get things done on their behalf.”
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