THE SPECTRUM: Third Congressional candidates square off before Democratic primary

The Spectrum

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With Ohio’s Election Day about a month away, primary challengers and incumbents are on a collision course.

In Ohio’s Third Congressional District in Columbus, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and candidate Morgan Harper, both Democrats, sat down to debate the issues as voters are trying to decide between the longtime public servant or a more progressive change.

“When we talk about economic opportunities for all, that’s for the least of us,” Beatty said during the debate held earlier this month. “We have to be more bold, more progressive. And that’s why I’m a part of the Democratic Party, the democratic way. Fighting for democracy.”

“The reason that we don’t see more action that has an impact on your life here in the Third District coming out of Washington is because we have people on both sides of the aisle that are corrupted by corporate money and that have no incentive to change the status quo,” Harper said. “It is a systemic issue holding our government hostage for more than a generation.”

Harper, a progressive Democrat, challenging veteran lawmaker Joyce Beatty.

“The inequality that we’re seeing, the economic segregation, people aren’t earning enough money to live, and that’s only gotten worse over the course of my lifetime, is unacceptable,” Harper said. “We’re seeing it right here in the Third District.”

“So what have I done?” Beatty asked. “I’ve stood up for equal pay for equal women. I have stood up for when women succeed, America succeeds. I have stood up against the President of the United States who was a Democrat and voted against him to make sure that I voted on a labor bill so we could have collective bargaining.”

The two faced off at a meet the candidates forum hosted by a handful of mostly progressive Democrat groups.

“We are seeing our communities getting gentrified and getting displaced because we have been sold out to corporate interests who do not care about making sure people have a home,” Harper argued. “How do we get to that goal of everybody in our community able to have a home? We build more housing.”

“We’re not in New York, we’re in Columbus, Ohio,” Beatty said. “So let’s hold the developers and builders to be on our side, to work together so it becomes a win-win for all of us.”

“That’s real action,” Beatty continued. “Not giving you statistics, not quoting, when you haven’t even been here other than on a campaign mission, to talk to people. I talk to people because I care about them, because I’m fighting for them, not because I’m running for office.”

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