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Cleveland Democrat to run for Secretary of State in ‘14

Ohio Sen. Nina Turner once introduced tongue-in-cheek bill to regulate Viagra.

In March her campaign launched a website titled “Run, Nina, Run,” so when state Sen. Nina Turner made it official Monday that she plans to run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014 it was hardly the shocker of the year.

Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, would likely face incumbent Republican Jon Husted, whom Turner called the “secretary of suppression” during the 2012 election.

Turner announced her candidacy in Cleveland, flanked by Democrats Mayor Frank Jackson and former political opponent U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge. She then began a state tour that stops in Dayton today at 9 a.m. at the Northwest Recreation Center, 1600 Princeton Drive.

Turner told the Dayton Daily News she decided to run after seeing Ohio elections make national headlines last year for the wrong reasons.

“I believe Ohio voters need a chief elections officer that believes in the power of the vote, someone who believes in fair elections and expanding the franchise,” Turner said.

Turner has attracted fans within the Democratic Party and around the country for her impassioned comments and speeches championing the rights of women, workers and impoverished Ohioans, often broadcast on cable TV. During Thursday’s state budget debate, Turner suggested fellow lawmakers “grow a pair — ovaries or otherwise” and vote against the bill. Last year, Turner introduced a tongue-in-cheek bill to regulate Viagra prescriptions similar to how Republican-sponsored bills suggested regulating abortion.

Turner was appointed to a vacated Senate seat in 2008 and was re-elected in 2010. Turner teaches at Cuyahoga Community College and previously served on the Cleveland City Council.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges released a statement soon after Turner’s announcement saying “liberal Nina Turner” is too extreme for all Ohioans.

“Her radical policies and rhetoric contrast greatly with Secretary of State Jon Husted’s common-sense conservatism,” Borges said. “Secretary Husted has cleaned up Ohio’s voter rolls and has made it easier for American servicemen and women to vote.”

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