In Campaign Mailer, Harris Warns of Mizeur’s Fundraising and Democratic Redistricting Efforts

    U.S. Rep Andrew P. Harris (R) singled out Heather Mizeur, one of several Democrats vying for a chance to run against him in the 2022 general election, in a recent campaign mailer.

    In the letter, which was obtained by Mizeur’s campaign, Harris charges that Maryland Democrats are attempting to redraw his district and warns of Mizeur’s high fundraising figures in an appeal for campaign contributions. Harris describes Mizeur as a “prolific fundraiser” hand-picked by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to run against him.

    “My Democrat opponent Heather Mizeur outraised me by $100,000 in the last quarter,” the outside of the envelope reads, “Now Democrats are trying to redraw my congressional district to defeat me. If I don’t do this, Maryland will lose its only Republican Congressman.”

    According to the Federal Election Commission, Harris raised $239,372.60 in the first quarter of 2021 compared to Mizeur’s $353,543.14. Harris had $1,180,305 cash on hand at the time to report was filed in April compared to Mizeur’s $318,514.59, according to the FEC.

    Mizeur’s campaign manager, Noah Habenstreit, said in an email that the fundraising letter “makes it clear that Heather is living in Andy Harris’s head rent free.”

    “Heather not only out-raised him last quarter, but she did it with grass-roots, people-powered support and without corporate PAC money,” Habenstreit said.

    He added that Mizeur is not endorsed by Pelosi.

    The Harris campaign could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

    While Harris singled out Mizeur in the letter, she isn’t the only Democrat vying for a chance to run against him: Mia Mason, a veteran who challenged Harris in 2020 and R. David Harden, a foreign policy strategist, are also in the race.

    Whether the boundaries of Maryland’s 1st congressional district will change after the next round of redistricting is unclear. The district encompasses the entire Eastern Shore, along with portions of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties, and Harris won reelection in 2020 with roughly 63% of the vote. Now in his sixth term, Harris is the lone Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation.

    The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission, a multi-partisan panel created by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to draw up congressional and legislative maps he will propose to the General Assembly, is currently conducting a round of public hearings before the U.S. Census Bureau releases redistricting data in August. At a Wednesday evening hearing, commission members were urged by state Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R-Lower Shore) to keep the Eastern Shore whole in their proposed maps.

    Whatever maps Hogan submits will ultimately be subject to approval by the Maryland General Assembly, where Democrats hold a veto-proof majority in both the House of Delegates and the Senate.

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    Bennett Leckrone
    Leckrone is a December 2019 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He has interned at The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Columbus Dispatch, PennLive.com, The Dayton Daily News and The Troy Daily News. Leckrone is a Report for America corps member.