Shontel Brown, a county council leader in Cleveland, was projected to defeat former State Sen. Nina Turner in the Democratic primary for Congress in Ohio that may have also been a referendum on the progressive wing of the political party.
Brown, a Cuyahoga County Councilwoman, was trailing in polling in recent weeks until her fellow establishment Democrats offered her their endorsements, something that all but proved to be a major turning point in the race.
The Hill reported that Turner conceded the race to Brown on Tuesday night.
“Tonight my friends, we have looked across the promised land, but for this campaign, on this night, we will not cross the river,” Turner told her supporters during a speech.
Brown now advances to the general election for the chance to fill former Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge‘s vacant seat in Congress after she was confirmed to be the Biden Administration’s secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
No one seemed to give Brown a chance to win just a little more than two months ago.
Every single Democratic state senator from Cuyahoga County — where Brown is also the Chair of the local Democratic Party — endorsed Turner.
But then, in mid-June, the local contest went national when Hillary Clinton stepped in to endorse Brown. That was followed by the endorsement from highly influential South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn.
The support from the two high-profile establishment Democrats for the little-known councilwoman suggested there may have been an ulterior motive at play to not only ensure defeat for Turner, a progressive candidate, but also to keep the progressive wing of the party from having further representation in Congress.
Lest we forget when Turner compared voting for Biden to eating a “bowl of shit.”
On the flip side, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were among several popular progressive Democrats who backed Turner in an example of the widening inter-party rift between establishment and progressive Democrats in recent months.
Clinton’s endorsement also suggests that she may have chosen to support Brown because of Turner’s allegiance to Sanders, for whom she worked as national co-chair for his 2020 presidential campaign as well as a national surrogate for his 2016 bid. Clinton, as some might remember, not too long ago launched a sneak attack on Sanders with revealing comments in a documentary that included a memorable one-liner: “Nobody likes him.”
Perhaps still feeling the Bern, so to speak, Clinton doubled down on her expressed disdain for Sanders — a progressive — by snubbing his loyal adviser, Turner, and instead endorsing her opponent.
The endorsement for Brown from Clyburn, whose support for Biden all but secured Sanders’ defeat for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was largely viewed through a similar establishment lens.
Turner recently spoke to NewsOne about her candidacy and explained the urgency behind the primary.
”You got to send somebody that is willing and ready to fight for the change in your material conditions, to change for conditions in our community, and also the change in this nation,” Turner told NewsOne about Ohio voters.
She just never expected that “somebody” to be Brown.
This is a developing story that will be updated.