Dave Harden enters Md. 1st Congressional District primary

U.S Congressional candidate Dave Harden running in Maryland's 1st Congressional District

Dave Harden is running for Congress in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.

Harden, 58, a Democrat, retired in 2018 as a career U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer (SFS) after serving 17 years overseas in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia, including as Minister Counselor for Yemen, Mission Director in the West Bank and Gaza, and Deputy Mission Director in Iraq.

Dave Harden’s career and bio 

After retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service, Harden founded The Georgetown Strategy Group, serving as its managing director.

The group operates as a global consulting firm advising governments, the private sector, and policymakers worldwide on foreign policy strategy while promoting trade, investment, security, and stability.

According to the organization’s website, Harden’s firm develops “economic opportunities and facilitates the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the most complicated political contexts in the world today.”

Harden was awarded the President’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2019 by former President Donald J. Trump for “sustained extraordinary accomplishment in the conduct of foreign policy.”

Former President Barack H. Obama nominated Harden in 2016 to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.

The U.S. Senate bipartisanly and overwhelmingly confirmed Harden’s nomination.

Mr. Harden spearheaded all USAID efforts to respond to global crises and stabilization efforts, including Haiti, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, the West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen.

Harden and his wife, Sharon – a State Department official with three grown children – live on a farm in Westminster.

He earned a law degree from Georgetown University, a Master of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Franklin and Marshall College.

Congressional Redistricting 

The Maryland General Assembly is expected to meet for a special session near the end of the year for a special session to take up congressional redistricting.

State lawmakers are constitutionally responsible for redrawing Maryland’s nine congressional boundaries using  2020 U.S. Census Bureau data.

But the Census Bureau says it will not release the population data that state legislatures use to redraw congressional district boundaries until Sept. 30 – a six-month delay – because of the ongoing COVID-19 global health pandemic, leaving the country’s state lawmakers scrambling to meet the constitutionally mandated deadline in time for the 2022 midterm elections.

Redistricting occurs every ten years in the U.S. under the Reapportionment Act of 1929.

“Legislative leaders are tentatively planning a special session in early December to handle congressional redistricting, and Johnson said maps should be produced for public comment before then,” Maryland Matters reports.

What Happens to the First Congressional District? 

The General Assembly’s Democratic super-majority has its sights firmly set on ousting one of former President Trump’s staunchest Republican congressional allies – Andy Harris, the 64-year-old six-term incumbent, now running for a seventh term, breaking his self-imposed term limits pledge not to serve any more than 12 years in Congress.

Harris is Maryland’s sole Republican congressman.

As of 6:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25, no candidate has officially filed to run in the 1st district, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website – though four other Democrats, including Mizeur, say they plan to run for the congressional seat.

  • Mia Mason, the 1st district’s 2020 Democratic primary winner, says she plans to run again in 2022;
  • Businessman and music artist Matt Talley said he’s running;
  • Jennifer Pingley was defeated in the 2020 Democratic primary, but she says she’ll make a second bid.

Maryland’s 2022 primary is June 28.

All candidates must file a certificate of candidacy with the state Board of Elections by Feb. 22 to qualify for the June primary ballot.

Other press about Harden’s campaign 

  • Dave Harden’s quest from the Middle East to the Eastern Shore (Jewish Insider)
  • Former Service Officer, Dave Harden, running for MD Congress (WMDT 47)
  • He understands how people connect’: Carroll County native Dave Harden making a run for Congress (Carroll County Times)
  • Meet Dave Harden: Another Democrat Signs up to Take on Andy Harris (Talbot Spy).

Ryan Miner is the Editor, Founder and Publisher of A Miner Detail, a leading Maryland politics blog featuring Maryland political news, political commentary and opinion. 

A Miner Detail is a Maryland politics blog featuring Maryland political news, political commentary and opinion. 

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