COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A national group that helps elect female Democrats who support abortion rights has endorsed Cleveland Democrat Nina Turner in next year's Ohio elections.
Turner is the second 2014 statewide candidate to win the backing of EMILY's List. The well-funded political group also endorsed Cincinnati-area state Rep. Connie Pillich in her bid to unseat Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DEHL').
Turner is a state senator and is challenging Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted).
EMILY'S List's endorsements signal the role abortion rights are likely to play in next year's election, even in down-ticket races.
Thursday's announcement comes amid on ongoing policy battle over abortion-related amendments inserted into the two-year state operating budget. The measures have prompted a rally featuring national figures and a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.