Last week’s Democratic National Convention brought new questions about unity for that party, and nationwide attention for an outspoken former state senator from Cleveland.
Nina Turner was on the convention floor in Philadelphia early last week as an elected delegate for Bernie Sanders. She’d become known as a vocal Sanders surrogate. And that night, she was asked if she would be endorsing Hillary Clinton. “Well, you know, for me, this is really about the people," she said that night. "And it’s about Sen. Sanders’ people. And right now I’m concentrating on that. I just need to get through this week, Karen, and you can ask me that question after this week. Let a sister get through this week.
By the end of that week, she’d become a minor celebrity among the “Bernie or Bust” crowd, and some wanted to see her with a bigger role in the party. And then the Green Party came courting Turner. “Well, it’s not every day that somebody calls you and says, ‘hey, would you like to be my vice president?’. Certainly honored that Dr. Jill Stein would call me and see that in me.”
Turner turned down the Green Party, and says she’s now focused on the reasons why she’s been a lifelong Democrat, and she says that’s not something she’s giving up on. But Turner said she’s taken heat for her public positions in the last week. “Certainly the road that I’m traveling is not the most popular road, but I do what I think is right, not matter what. And certainly I have received lots of blowback for doing what I think is right. But at the end of the day, I answer to God and my family and the people that I’m fighting for. So let the chips fall where they may, basically, on that kind of stuff. It would be very disappointing if my party decided to rise up against me just because I challenged it.”
Turner said she wants to work with what she calls the most progressive Democratic Party platform in recent history. And she said she’s also keeping her options open for 2018, when all five statewide executive offices will be open, including secretary of state, which she ran for and lost in 2014.