Previewing the Brown-Turner rematch in OH-11’s Democratic primary

Incumbent Rep. Shontel Brown and Nina Turner are running in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District on May 3. This is a rematch. Brown defeated Turner 50% to 45% in the Aug. 3, 2021, special primary election.

Brown assumed office in November 2021, succeeding Rep. Marcia Fudge (D), who resigned that year to become U.S. secretary of housing and urban development. Brown says she has progressive bona fides and a commitment to bipartisanship. She says she kept her promise to voters to work with President Joe Biden (D) by voting for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which she said would “repair the bridge on Martin Luther King, replace every lead pipe, create thousands of jobs, and finally, every home in Cleveland will have access to high-speed internet.” Brown has also campaigned on legislation she introduced to reduce class sizes and that she cosponsored to raise the minimum wage. Before joining the House, Brown was on the Cuyahoga County Council. As of April 2022, she was chair of the county Democratic Party.

Turner says Brown is not doing enough to change the material conditions for poor and low-income residents. Turner said when announcing her second bid for the district, “Voting the right way is one thing, but using the full force and weight of the office to fight for things is another. … And that is a primary difference between me and the person that holds that office.” Turner has referred to her work on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Democratic presidential campaigns and said she would fight for Medicare for All, a living wage, and good union jobs. Turner served in the state Senate from 2008 to 2015 and is a former chair of party engagement for the Ohio Democratic Party.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC endorsed Brown, a change from 2021 when it endorsed Turner. Brown became a member of the caucus after she took office. Brown’s other endorsers include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (D), and the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC. Turner’s endorsers include Sanders, former Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D), and the editorial board.

Two election forecasters rate the general election Safe or Solid Democratic.