Shontel Brown & Nina Turner visit Cleveland’s largest Black church before special election on Tuesday

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - The top Democratic candidates in the primary election for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District attended service at The Word Church in Warrensville Heights Sunday as the contentious special election entered its final days.

With just two days before the election, candidates Nina Turner, Shontel Brown, and their supporters attended service at the predominantly Black megachurch.

Senior Pastor R.A. Vernon prayed over the candidates during the service.

“Soon as church is over, ya’ll go back to fighting and let’s win tomorrow — fighting in a good way, the appropriate way,” he said. “I don’t care who don’t like it... I’m going to pray for both of you. Ya’ll going to finish together.”

The election has attracted national attention and is viewed by many as a proxy war between the Democratic establishment and the party’s more progressive wing. A total of 13 Democrats are running to replace Marcia Fudge, who left to serve as the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

The race, in a heavily gerrymandered district considered safe for Democrats, has largely come down to Brown, who has positioned herself as the “Biden candidate” and Turner, who has enjoyed the support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders was to attend the service along with actor Danny Glover, according to a media release from the church. Both were showing support for Turner. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) was also scheduled to attend to support Brown.

“Politics can be brutal but today these two beautiful back women sat through the entire service and had tears in their eyes as they worshipped,” the church wrote on Facebook. “Tuesday night one of them will be the next Congresswoman of the 11th district of Ohio, but Wednesday both of them will still be beautiful, black, educated, intelligent accomplished Christian women.”

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