Skip to content
A Far-Right Republican and Progressive Debate.  It went as well as expected.

 | Top stories

A Far-Right Republican and Progressive Debate. It went as well as expected.

| Today Headlines | World News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Morgan Harper said she couldn’t get her main challenger in the Ohio Democratic Senate primary to debate her, so she opted for the thing furthest from him — a candidate from the other side of the aisle. Way on the other side.

Harper, a progressive outsider, debated far-right Republican Josh Mandel, the presumptive frontrunner in the Ohio GOP primary, at an Ohio church on Thursday night.

It went as well as you could expect.

Mandel, 44, has repeatedly said the Democratic Party is ‘condescending’ to people of color like Harper, and he insisted the reason his opponent won’t debate her is because she doesn’t was not a “white man”. Mandel also predicted he would set records for winning black votes in the Ohio Senate race.

Harper, 38, fired back: “What we don’t need is Josh Mandel speaking up for the black community.”

At one point, Mandel called Harper a “nutty Nancy Pelosi” for “advocating for all that green energy” when Harper pledged to support renewable energy to help mitigate climate change.

In the most bizarre exchange of the evening, Mandel insisted that there is no separation between church and state in the United States – the literal First Amendment to the Constitution.

“I am pro-God, pro-gun, pro-Trump, and I will fight in Washington with the Constitution in one hand and the Bible in the other.”

— GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel

“I don’t believe in the separation of church and state. There is nothing like that. The founders of this county, the Founding Fathers, they didn’t believe in the separation of church and state. When you read the Constitution of the United States, you do not read anywhere about the separation of church and state. It doesn’t exist,” he said, followed by an audible gasp from the audience.

Naturally, Harper and Mandel couldn’t be further apart on just about everything.

“Josh Mandel is the swamp.”

– Democratic Senate candidate Morgan Harper

“I’m scared as a woman, as a black person, as a daughter whose mother lives on a monthly pension, to have this guy near a seat of power in the US Senate,” Harper said. .

Harper is a staunch progressive who challenged Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) in a 2020 primary. She then ran with the backing of Justice Democrats, the group that helped the Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to knock off an incumbent from New York to win her seat in Congress.

Mandel, a former state treasurer, veered right in the primary, peddling campaign plots and racist rhetoric to appeal to the Trump base — and Trump himself for possible endorsement. Mandel made much of his campaign in evangelical churches.

“I am pro-God, pro-gun, pro-Trump, and I will fight in Washington with the Constitution in one hand and the Bible in the other,” Mandel said.

Ryan’s campaign has said it will debate Harper at some point, but for now it’s more focused on meeting with voters.

“It doesn’t matter whether Josh Mandel stands in a cornfield calling for armed insurrection or showing his out of touch, anti-worker agenda on the debate stage; he’s bad for Ohio and doesn’t belong anywhere near the US Senate,” Ryan’s spokesman Izzi Levy said.


Top Stories Usa News A Far-Right Republican and Progressive Debate. It went as well as expected.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.