Morgan Harper

Morgan Harper, then a candidate for Ohio third congressional district, speaks during the United For Access Press Event at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio. (Photo: Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Thinx, Inc)

Progressive Democrat Morgan Harper Launches Campaign Against Rep. Tim Ryan for Ohio Senate Seat

"I don't think Democrats will flip Ohio if we nominate another establishment insider," she told supporters.

Progressive Democrat Morgan Harper on Wednesday formally announced the launch of her race to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

Her campaign represents a progressive challenge to Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who launched his campaign for the Senate seat in April.

Ryan this month got the endorsement of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio.). Back in 2020, Harper ran a Justice Democrats-backed, unsuccessful challenge to Beatty's bid for Ohio's 3rd Congressional District. More recently, the CBC backed Democratic establishment candidate Shontel Brown, who bested progressive Nina Turner's bid to win Ohio's 11th District Democratic primary.

"Between you and me," Harper said in an email sent to supporters Wednesday, "I don't think Democrats will flip Ohio if we nominate another establishment insider. Ohioans want a senator who's on their side--someone with a track record of fighting the system, not upholding the status quo."

Harper, 38, is a lawyer, former senior adviser for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and co-founder of Columbus Stand Up, an organization first focused on getting people to the polls and now working to help Ohioans secure Covid-19 vaccine appointments and providing free rides to clinics.

Harper's platform calls for Medicare for All, student debt relief, universal childcare, a Green New Deal, and strengthened Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Her campaign says it will take no corporate PAC money.

A handful of Republicans, including venture capitalist and Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, have already entered Republicans' primary race for the seat and are vying for an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

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