Turner, a former Ohio state senator who became a chief surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bids, entered the special as a well-known figure with a huge financial edge; her own internal polling from late May had her with 50 percent of the vote, and she had endorsements from Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and the Justice Democrats, a leading progressive group.
But that notoriety was perhaps as much a hindrance as an asset for Turner. Her impassioned speeches on behalf of progressive policies won her a cult-like status on the left, but her tendency to take aim at fellow Democrats brought more than a few enemies.
Brown, a councilmember and Democratic party chair in Cuyahoga County, is a protege of the former incumbent Marcia Fudge, who vacated the seat to serve as Biden’s housing secretary. Among her boosters were Hillary Clinton, who thwarted Sanders for the 2016 presidential nomination; Jewish Democrats wary of Turner’s comments on Israel; and the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio).
Turner was a staple on cable TV and did not hold back her distaste of Clinton and Biden and the Democratic Party’s leaders. That left behind a trove of footage that her detractors used to cut ads.