COLUMBUS, Ohio — Days after Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan launched a $3.3 million TV ad buy to promote his U.S. Senate campaign, his main primary opponent, Morgan Harper, is releasing her first ad in a six-figure purchase.

What You Need To Know

  • Morgan Harper, a progressive running for U.S. Senate in Ohio, is releasing her first TV ad this week

  • Harper is challenging 10-term Congressman Tim Ryan for the Democratic nomination

  • Ryan, who leads Harper in both polling and fundraising, released his first ad last week

  • Harper is running to the left of Ryan and highlights that in her ad

The 30-second spot, titled “My Ohio Story,” features Harper recounting how she was adopted, earned scholarships to Princeton and Stanford Law, and eventually worked for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Harper is a progressive attorney and organizer who has been running to the left of Ryan, a 10-term congressman who has maintained his frontrunner status for the Democratic nomination since entering Ohio’s Senate race last year. In 2020, Harper unsuccessfully challenged incumbent-Representative Joyce Beatty in Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District.

Throughout this Senate campaign, Harper has labeled Ryan a career politician who has shifted his policy stances over the years to remain electable. 

In her new ad, Harper does not mention Ryan by name, but says, “I’m the 'only' Democrat for Senate who’s always supported Medicare for All and a $15 living wage, who’s always been pro-choice and supports expanding the Supreme Court to protect women’s rights.”

Despite the criticisms, Ryan has maintained a steady lead over Harper in both fundraising and polling. He’s also been endorsed by Sen. Sherrod Brown and the Ohio Democratic Party.

Ryan’s first ad focuses on China out-competing the U.S. in manufacturing, a message that has been criticized by some Asian American organizers for being anti-Asian.

While both Democrats are just now launching TV ads ahead of the May 3rd primary, the Republican candidates in the race have poured tens of millions of dollars — including millions in self-funding — on advertising throughout the last few months.

A third Democrat, Traci “TJ” Johnson, is also running for the Democratic nomination. She has not released any ads.