Heather Mizeur is running for Congress in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.
She has the name recognition to win a Democratic primary – but can she defeat incumbent Republican Andy Harris?
A Miner Detail takes a close look at the race.
Heather Mizeur Announces Congressional Bid
Mizeur released an appropriately lit video announcing that she, a Democrat, will seek her party’s nomination to halt Maryland’s lone Republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, from serving the fine people of Maryland’s 1st Congressional District for a seventh term.
A seventh term?
That was a lie.
Mr. Harris recently appeared on a Baltimore radio program to renege on his self-imposed term limits. He justified a seventh term under the guise of confronting a political, existential crisis orchestrated by Democrats, naturally.
But Harris is operating on a 20-year+ plan to fight “pushback from liberals and socialists.”
The congressman justified his campaign 360 with somebody or something having “serious threats.” He later enlisted his constituents – “the people of the 1st Congressional District” – to continue the battle against the so-called “threats.”
Whatever “serious threats” Rep. Harris is referring to, nobody seemingly knows; the congressman’s spokesperson, Walter Smoloski, failed to offer additional clarity into Harris’ remarks when asked to do so by The Baltimore Sun.
Can Mizeur Beat Harris?
A confluence of recent events and pivotal moments must have emboldened Mizeur in her decision to come out of political retirement to challenge Andy Harris in a congressional district drawn by former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, nearly a decade ago.
Heather Mizeur was a member in good standing of the same Maryland General Assembly’s Democratic super-majority responsible, in addition to O’Malley, for Maryland’s current congressional boundaries.
Maryland’s 1st Congressional District was drawn, so it is nearly impossible for any credible Democrat to be victorious over a Republican, especially an incumbent like Andy Harris.
The former governor and 2016 presidential candidate acknowledged in a 2018 op-ed published in USA Today that’s almost a mea culpa.
O’Malley suggested the U.S. Supreme Court should once and for all fix the mess politicians like him make and cancel partisan gerrymandering.
About Rep. Andy Harris
Mr. Harris, first elected to Congress in 2010, is known to tout his loyalty to former President Donald J. Trump.
It’s fair to say that Harris is one of the OG’s in the one-time politically viable Tea Party movement that swept Washington in 2010 on a platform to return fiscal sanity to Washington.
That same year, former Ohio Congressman John Boehner was elevated to Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Incidentally, “Original OG” is a cannabis strand believed to have been cultivated in California. Mizeur is a longtime vocal proponent of legislation to legalize cannabis in Maryland.
Meanwhile, Mizeur’s potential Republican opponent, Mr. Harris, is pretty much persona non grata amid much of the D.C. cannabis community after aggressively interfering in the District’s recreational cannabis marketplace.
Heather Mizeur seemingly has it made.
She’s living a quiet life on the Eastern Shore.
Why give all of that up to jump back into elected politics?
It’s a terrible time in American politics to run for office.
Why is Heather Mizeur running for Congress in 2022?
Mizeur’s inspiration to get back into the game is seemingly rooted in what happened in America on January 6, 2021.
January 6 is etched into annals of historical infamy.
It’s the date when Donald Trump rallied a cult of loyal dipshits to storm the U.S. Capitol building and force Congress to disregard the 2020 presidential election results.
Mizeur referenced the January 6th insurrection in her campaign launch announcement video.
“Witnessing a treasonous insurrection against the citadel of our democracy, with the express encouragement of those bound by a constitutional oath to protect it, is an unforgivable betrayal,” she said.
Mizeur says Andy Harris'” actions on that day [January 6] alone disqualify him from representing Maryland’s 1st District.”
The HuffPost witnessed and confirmed in January 2021 that U.S. Capitol Police halted Rep. Harris from entering the House chamber after discovering he was carrying a firearm in his suit jacket pocket.
The Huffington Post reported that Harris tried handing off his handgun to a Republican House colleague.
That colleague, Rep. John Katko of New York, refused to hold on to Harris’ gun, telling Harris that he did not have “a license” to carry in the District of Columbia.
Everybody has an Andy Harris Story.
Shortly before the U.S. House of Representatives confirmed then-President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Electoral College win, reporters claim they overheard Harris, a medical doctor by trade, taunting Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi banged her gavel to restore order.
A Miner Detail reported in May 2020 that press poolers overheard Harris cursing at a White House advance staffer over a seating arrangement during former President Donald J. Trump’s Memorial Day visit to Baltimore’s Fort McHenry.
Former Maryland Republican Party official Matthew Adams, who has since passed away, confirmed that Harris cursed him out and threatened him after he published a blog post that was critical of Nicole Beus, Harris’ wife.
Everybody these days, so it seems, has an “Andy Harris story” to share.
Former Del. Mizeur certainly has an expansive repository of Harris material to work with when it does come time to inundate 1st District voters with television ads and inglorious glossy campaign mailers.
Heather Mizeur’s 2014 Gubernatorial Besides drawing clear policy and stylistic distinctions, Run
Maryland voters should not count on Mizeur going negative against Htions.
Mizeur avoided negative campaigning when she ran in the 2014 Democratic primary.
At the time, her two male opponents – then Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and former Attorney General Doug Gansler.
Mizeur’s unsuccessful 2014 gubernatorial primary campaign steered clear of the negative politics as usual.
She placed third in the Democratic gubernatorial primary that year.
For the most part, Mizeur finished the race unscathed and was later embraced by Democratic Party elders and activists alike as a political trailblazer and “someone to watch” in the future.
Life on the Eastern Shore
Since leaving the House of Delegates in 2015, Mizeur and her wife have since departed their progressive enclave of Takoma Park and settled in on a 34-acre organic farm in Chestertown.
Maryland’s Eastern Shore has little in common with the progressive activism that consumes much of Takoma Park.
And you can bet on Andy Harris torching Mizeur as an out-of-touch extreme leftist.
The Eastern Shore is overwhelmingly Repub, making it hard for Mizeur to win.
Andy Harris hasn’t faced a competitive general election challenge in 10 years – a fact that Maryland Democrats begrudgingly concede.
Mizeur Will Win The Democratic Primary… But
Heather Mizeur is almost guaranteed to win the 1st Congressional District’s Democratic primary.
She’s a credible candidate.
But what kind of congressional campaign will Mizeur run?
Will she strike a balance between progressives and moderates?
Many of the same voters measure their representatives and candidates on a sliding scale of obsequiousness to Donald Trump.
Most voters fully expect their elected representative(s) to shred at least an ounce of whatever moral integrity is left within their souls. They expect – well, they demand – that one must discard logic entirely to defend a cult of personality; the United States Constitution is secondary.
To that end, Andy Harris is the perfect representative for much of the 1st Congressional District’s loyal – and mostly white – Trump fanboy and fangirl base.
How does Heather Mizeur break through to Trump-friendly voters in the 1st?
And how does she plan to withstand the inevitable Andy Harris Republican attack machine?
Can Heather Mizeur Beat Andy Harris?
Has Mizeur ever faced off against a competitive Republican?
Miwillre to intercept her fair share of unsolicited political advice from political outsiders (and maybe some consultants) who fail to understand Maryland’s 1st District’s fundamentals.
We know the types; they believe they know best what the voters in the district desire from their elected congressperson.
But that won’t work in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.
And Mizeur knows it.
Will Mizeur shape her campaign platform from the progressive left?
Or will she moderate her tone to reach Maryland unaffiliated voters and some disaffected Republicans who have grown weary of Andy Harris’ recent public outbursts and want to move the Republican Party beyond Donald Trump?
Only Heather Mizeur can answer those questions.
Our only advice for the aspiring congresswoman: Stop by early and often at Two if By Sea for a classic Eastern Shore breakfast – arguably the best on the Eastern Shore – and hit up the Scrapple Trail, another “organic” delight.
Ryan Miner is the Editor of A Miner Detail and the host of A Miner Detail Podcast.
He can be reached at Ryan@AMinerDetail.com.