Ingrid Turner is a Maryland Congressional District 4 candidate. (Courtesy photo)
“My job is to get things done,” said Maryland Congressional District 4 candidate Ingrid Turner during a Nov. 12 interview at Bowie State University. Turner said her proven ability to find common ground, while focusing on serving Maryland residents, makes her the right person for the office.
Turner, who retired from the military, lives in National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. She is one of 11 candidates vying for U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards’ (D-District 4) seat, according to the State Board of Elections. Edwards is running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barbara Mikulski.
Turner said 15 percent of the 742,761-person district is from Anne Arundel County, while 85 percent reside in Prince George’s County. District 4 is 52 percent Black and 34 percent White; with 16 percent claiming to be of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, according to the census bureau.
“Education, women and family issues are always in the forefront of my mind,” Turner said, crediting her mother, an educator, with igniting her passion for issues like pay equity, raising the minimum wage, improving education, and access to quality health care. These matters are important not only to the district’s 400,000 women, but the entire population. “What’s good for women is good for the community,” Turner continued. Concern for seniors, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and safeguarding veterans’ benefits all rank high on her agenda.
The value of service was instilled during her childhood: ”I was always involved in and helping my community,” Turner said. Her military family relocated to Bowie, Maryland when she was in elementary school. Turner is a graduate of Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland.
Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-District 5) nominated Turner for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where she earned a B.S. in 1986. She obtained her M.B.A. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California and her J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in D.C. She was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1993.
She won her first political race, a 2006 Democratic county council primary, by a scant 58-vote margin. Turner ran unopposed in the general election, becoming the county’s first Black District 4 Council woman. She addressed long overlooked community needs, like funding an $18 million South Bowie library, which she calls “a success tool” for its residents.
Turner visited every public school in her council district, finding the former Greenbelt Middle School in abysmal shape. Working with officials helped secure $53.6 million for a new state-of-the-art facility which opened in 2012.
On the Hill, Turner said she will advocate for federal dollars to fix the nation’s failing educational infrastructure. She also said she wants two years of public, post-secondary education funded, not by increasing the diameter of the appropriation pie, but by changing slice sizes.
Turner’s leadership as council and health board chair resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a Regional Medical Center in Largo by 2017. The teaching hospital will generate $578.3 million in economic activity and 4,300 jobs, according to the county government website.
“I get it done,” Turner boasted, referencing her success co-sponsoring a county bill raising the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour in 2017. “When our community uplifts as a whole, the state of Maryland uplifts as a whole the nation uplifts,” Turner said.