CLEVELAND, Ohio – Former Ohio Sen. Nina Turner announced Thursday she would take a leave of absence from her position as president of Our Revolution to serve as co-chair of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.
Turner, a Democrat, has been a staunch public ally of Sanders, an independent running as a Democrat, since Sanders’ 2016 run for president. As president of Our Revolution, the political group birthed out of Sanders’ 2016 campaign, she’s become a nationally known figure tasked with keeping enthusiasm alive for the 77-year-old Sanders’ political platform.
“Our Revolution has been the keeper of the flame doing the vital work of building a grassroots movement that leverages the people’s agenda,” Turner said. “Senator Sanders’ 2020 campaign is a reflection of that work and I look forward to joining his team as a co-chair to ensure we have a true progressive champion in the White House dedicated to racial, social, economic, and political justice."
Turner, a Cleveland native, started her career in office in 2006 after she was elected to Cleveland City Council, eventually moving to the state Senate in 2009.
She made an unsuccessful bid for secretary of state in 2014, losing to incumbent Republican Jon Husted.
Turner made headlines in November 2015 when she unendorsed Hillary Clinton to back Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.
As president of Our Revolution, a position she assumed in June 2017, Turner served as the public face of Sanders’ liberal populist movement, becoming one of his most prominent supporters in the country. She frequently appears in the national media as a political commentator, and has cultivated a following of her own in the process.
Turner will serve on the Sanders campaign alongside Ro Khanna, a California congressman; Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s.
During her leave of absence, she will continue to sit on the board of Our Revolution.