Former Takoma Park Councilmember, Delegate Heather Mizeur Challenging Rep. Andy Harris

Heather Mizeur and Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD. 1). (Photo of Harris via harris.house.gov).

Heather Mizeur, former Takoma Park City councilmember and former state delegate representing Montgomery County, announced she is challenging Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD. 1) in 2022.

In a video Thursday, Mizeur said Harris’ actions on Jan. 6 prove he should not represent the 1st district, which includes the Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties. On that day, lawmakers were taken to secure locations as supporters of former President Donald Trump charged into the Capitol building. Five people reportedly died, including one Capitol Police officer. Before its session was suspended due to the chaos, Congress was meeting to certify electoral college votes and affirm President Joe Biden for his position. Trump had encouraged his supporters to protest what he believed was a stolen election. In the electoral college, Biden defeated Trump 306-232. Congress reconvened late Jan. 6 and at around 3 a.m. Jan. 7, confirmed Biden as president.

Harris was the only representative from Maryland to challenge electoral college results that night, which failed.

“Andy Harris’ actions on that day alone disqualify him to represent Maryland’s 1st district,” Mizeur said in her video announcement.

“I will work with you to spread a message of dignified, heart-centered, collaborative leadership. Smart and innovative policy thinking, and inspired, connected communities undertaking the big challenges we face,” Mizeur said. In 2003, she was elected to the Takoma Park City Council. From 2007 to 2015, she represented District 20, Montgomery County, as a state delegate, and ran for governor in 2014. Mizeur now lives in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore.

Mizeur hinted at her run the day after the mob attack, when she said she would consider unseating Harris if he did not resign.

“We have found ways in the past to see common ground through our differences. However, there is only one way to view your complicity [with] treasonous insurrection against our [government]: you must resign immediately — or I will consider retiring you myself in 2022,” she wrote on Twitter. Following the Jan. 6 chaos, the Maryland Democratic Party also called for Harris’ resignation, saying he was complicit in the events. Harris responded with his own statement, saying he would not resign.

Mizeur said since Jan. 6, “unbecoming conduct has become [Harris’] calling card.”

“That very night, as our stunned nation began its healing process from this assault, Andy Harris got into a war of words on the House floor, attempting to pick a fist fight with a colleague who had differing views.”

She went on to say, “Then, one week ago today, Harris was caught trying to carry a gun onto the floor of the U.S. Capitol. These behaviors have stirred within me a conviction that we must offer an alternative choice.”

Several journalists reported that Harris was involved in a confrontation on the House floor with Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) and/or Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL). In a statement Jan. 7, Harris said Allred stepped in to diffuse tensions between members of Congress and that there was no physical altercation.

Video footage from the House floor shows Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) speaking against objections to the electoral vote count in Pennsylvania while someone is repeatedly interrupting. Eventually, Congress members can be seen rising and walking off-camera while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) repeatedly calls for “order in the House.”

As for the alleged gun incident, according to a Huffington Post reporter who said he witnessed the event, Harris was prevented from bringing a gun onto the floor on Jan. 21. Reporter Matt Fuller wrote that HuffPost confirmed with a Capitol official that Harris was carrying a gun. A spokesman from Harris’ office told MyMCM that he stands by a statement made on Fox 45, which says because his and his family’s lives have been threatened, Harris never confirms whether he or anyone with him is carrying a firearm. It said Harris has never brought a firearm onto the House floor.

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About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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