ST. MARYS — A Democratic candidate to become one of Ohio’s senators visited the United Steelworkers Union Hall in St. Marys on Sunday afternoon to talk about her candidacy.
Morgan Harper says she’s running to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate to get political and economic power back on the side of working people.
“We need a new path forward,” Harper said. “We’ve seen the results of having our economy turned over to these large multinational corporations that aren’t for us, and our community needs to be in charge. We need to make sure that everybody’s able to have access to a stable life, work jobs that sustain families, address this opioid crisis that continues to ravage the state.”
The 38-year-old native of Columbus earned her master’s degree from Princeton and a law degree from Stanford.
She’s worked as a consumer protection attorney and community organizer.
“My story, in many ways, is an Ohio story,” Harper said. “I went through a lot early on, but I got a chance to live out my potential, and everyone deserves that. What does it take to get there? It takes big investments in renewable energy, for example, making sure that we’re creating jobs of the future, making sure that everybody has access to health care, regardless of what your employment status is and that we’re able to get people quality housing to be able to create that situation where you can show up, work and eventually retire.”
She is one of three people campaigning for the Democratic nomination for the Ohio Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Republican Rob Portman.
Harper was director of policy and advocacy at the American Economic Liberties Project, a non-profit fighting to break up corporate monopolies, where she testified before Congress on the unchecked power of Big Tech.
“The past couple of years I have been very focused on issues around the big tech companies that are causing a lot of issues, both in the economy and in government that needs to be addressed … creating opportunities for small businesses, medium-sized businesses to compete. Right now, we have some structural barriers to getting that done, and I have a vision for how to address it,” Harper said.
She is also the founder of Columbus Stand Up!, a grassroots community organization that mobilized volunteers across Central Ohio in response to the pandemic. They went door to door delivering 30,000 masks, drove voters to the polls during the 2020 election and transported patients to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
“At the height of the pandemic, in the spring, I just worked with volunteers in Central Ohio to get masks out to people to be able to drive people to their vaccine appointments … wasn’t waiting for anybody to tell me what to do just see problems and willing to put in the work and have the ability to mobilize people to solve them. That’s the kind of leadership we need,” Harper said.
Other candidates running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate include U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, of Youngstown, and Traci Johnson, an IT executive and activist from Columbus.
So far, 12 Republicans have announced their candidacies for Portman’s seat.