Joyce Beatty, Morgan Harper Debate In First Public Forum

Feb 2, 2020

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) took the stage with her progressive challenger Morgan Harper in a downtown Columbus church Sunday. In the heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District, Beatty and Harper’s primary race could effectively determine who wins the seat.

During Sunday’s forum, Beatty repeatedly emphasized her record as a four-term congresswoman on topics like housing, wages, climate change and spending.

“You see because I have a track record," Beatty said. "I can tell you what I’ve done—not making promises. I was one of the early on individuals to sign on for the Green New Deal for public housing, which is real legislation.”

Hundreds turned on to see Rep. Beatty and Harper debate at St. John's United Church of Christ.
Credit Nick Evans

Meanwhile, Harper attacked Beatty from the left, arguing Congress has been too slow to address problems like income inequality and health care because of outsized corporate influence.  

“That is why I am pledging I will not take money from any corporate PAC, that I will be free to fight and pass Medicare For All so we have universal health care and everyone in our community has health care," Harper said.

The most heated exchange came over the question of party endorsement. The Franklin County Democratic Party is backing Beatty, despite Harper urging officials not to weigh in on a contested race.

Correction: an earlier version of this story said no Republicans were running in the 3rd Congressional District. Mark Richardson of Powell and Cleophus Dulaney of Columbus have both been certfied for the race on the GOP ticket.