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Fourth Democrat joins race for Portman’s seat

Harper served as senior advisor for U.S. Consumer Protection Bureau

COLUMBUS — The 2022 race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat has seen a crowded ballot developing so far and, last week, the Democratic side of the ballot had a new addition.

Morgan Harper, a former senior advisor for the U.S. Consumer Protection Bureau, announced that she is seeking the seat being vacated by retiring Republican incumbent Rob Portman.

Harper, an attorney and community organizer from Columbus, also announced that announced her campaign raised $250,000 in the first 36 hours after announcing her entry into the race.

Harper served as in the CPB under President Barack Obama as a senior advisor.

Her campaign said she “is running with an ambitious policy vision and bold, progressive platform that will help her to mobilize the coalition that Ohio Democrats need to win in the general election and defeat the Trump Republicans that are threatening our democracy.”

Harper is the latest Democrat to join the race, being preceded by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan. Demar Sheffey, a former Cleveland city council candidate, and Richard Taylor.

Ryan, who has raised sizeable campaign funds, has been seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to this point.

Ten candidates have also filed for the race on the Republican side, including former Ohio Republican chair Jane Timken, former state treasurer Josh Mandel, Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, investment banker Mike Gibbons, MedFlight pilot Michael Leipold, car dealership owner Bernie Moreno, businessman Neil Patel, IT executive Mark Pukita, and U.S. Air Force veteran MacKenzine Thompson.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, had announced that he was considering a run for the seat, but has since declined.