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Nina Turner hits the campaign trail for Sanders

Posted: 9:40 AM, Feb 01, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-01 14:40:54Z

As Bernie Sanders rises in the polls so too does the demand on his time out on the campaign trail, a dynamic that has elevated former State Senator Nina Turner of Cleveland into a unique position.

"I've been traveling the country as a national surrogate for him. I've been with him many places from Chicago to Baltimore to Iowa to Birmingham to South Carolina," said Turner who at first was backing Hillary Clinton.

"My husband one day said to me 'baby you should listen to him, this is you,'" Turner recalled.  "'He speaks to the soul and hearts of people, he wants to lift people and I think this is your kind of guy.'"

"I did that and I started to drown out all the noise and my husband was absolutely right," she said.

The two had the chance to talk late last year and before long Turner started making appearances with him.

"He wants to lift people, $15 minimum wage, paid family medical leave, he talked about the injustices within the justice system and the free college and university  and for me being a first generation college graduate, those kinds of things really spoke to my heart and soul," she said.

Turner campaigned for Sanders in Nevada on Saturday and will join him here in Iowa on Monday with her role likely to only grow after Iowa and New Hampshire when the make up of the Democrat Party in the remaining states is roughly 45 percent minority.

"No one is delusional about what is going to be necessary for Senator Sanders to introduce himself to the African American community but I will tell you from being in Birmingham with him, I will tell you from being in Baltimore with him... He is making inroads and the more that he tells his story and his plans, that speaks to the African American community," Turner said.

"So for me it is just a matter of him introducing himself to the community and we will see the tide turn."

What Turner said she does not like is the assumption that the minority vote will break automatically for Clinton.

"I've talked to quite a few African Americans across the country just really miffed about this whole notion that people have already predicted where they're going or where we're going and don't really have to fight to earn that vote like you would fight to earn the vote of any other ethnic group."