Morgan Harper is running for the US Senate to be the Ohio representative. Like Supreme Court nominee Kentanji Brown Jackson, if she wins the seat, she will be the only black female helming in a majority-white power structure.
Who Exactly Is Morgan Harper?
Morgan Harper is a 38-year-old African American attorney, community organizer, and political candidate for senator in Ohio.
Harper told Essence about her humble upbringing and the opportunities that she was afforded along the way.
I was born here in Columbus and given up for adoption, and from then it’s just a journey of people and different social service sectors and agencies giving me a chance.
When she was young, Harper won a scholarship to go to a private school in the suburbs of Columbus. “That allowed me to just dive into education and be in such a great learning environment. But it stuck with me that this was random that we got in this position. And that’s not right,” she stated. “That was a key moment for me of just realizing this can’t possibly be how we’re doing this American Dream thing. Because that would be very unfair.”
Harper is a Stanford Law School graduate with a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. She also worked as a senior advisor at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama administration.
Morgan Harper v Senate
In August 2021, Harper declared her candidacy for the 2022 United States Senate midterms election in Ohio. Harper will run against Congressman Tim Ryan and two other candidates in the Democratic primary, where she aspires to flip a Republican seat in this year’s midterms.
This is her second attempt to represent Ohio in the Capitol. Harper first ran in the 2020 House race for Ohio’s 3rd congressional district, announcing her campaign before COVID-19 hit. In the House race, Rep. Joyce Beatty won the primary with 68% of the vote in April 2020. This year, her challenger is Rep. Tim Ryan, who recently won the support of the Ohio Democratic Party.
In spite of her opponent’s Democratic party endorsement, Harper stands firm in the belief that she’s a better representative of what Ohio voters want.
I can turn out the voters that we need to win, and the only coalition that is proven to be successful in winning the state of Ohio as a Democrat really depends on turnout from Black voters. And I’m going to be able to do that.
Harper acknowledges how important it will be for her to have grassroots support from people from their votes and their wallets.
As a grassroots candidate, when you’re continuing to work with people directly on the ground, [you meet] people across the board who are feeling economically left behind and not feeling like votes are translating into any sort of different outcome. If people still feel like they are struggling to get by after working, if people still feel like a medical bill could sink you out of nowhere, then we haven’t done our jobs of making people see that government can serve that role of protecting people and guaranteeing, at a minimum, basic needs are met and are okay.
Harper is running on the promise of universal health care and free public college and aiming to bring more jobs to Ohio.
“At one point, Ohio had more high-paying jobs than any state in the country. Today, we have one of the lowest,” her campaign website reads. “We need to stop multinational corporations from outsourcing jobs to low-paying, union-busting countries and dodging their taxes, and instead, create secure, high-paying jobs here at home.”
With trust in government in scarce supply, President Biden and the US Congress could do well to stand behind Morgan Harper on the US Senate and Kentanji Brown Jackson on the US Supreme Court, both of whom will attract a broader coalition of voters that truly reflect the diversity within the US population.
Black Girl Magic Reigns Supreme
President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to be nominated to highest court in the nation. Her announcement was met with open opposition and derision by the Republican party.