Harden, Mizeur, Harris talk 2022 campaign at Crisfield Clam Bake and Crab Feast

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Maryland Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris pose for a photo at the 2021 Crisfield Clam Bake and Crab Feast.

CRISFIELD — Politicians from across the state made the long drive to Maryland’s southernmost town for the annual J. Millard Tawes Crisfield Clam Bake and Crab Feast to talk politics, promote campaigns and enjoy the area’s famous local seafood.

The annual event, which hasn’t been hosted since July 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was highly attended and decorated with hundreds of campaign signs for politicians vying for local, state and congressional offices.

The Star Democrat caught up with two of the Democratic candidates running for Maryland’s 1st District who are hoping to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st in the 2022 congressional election.

Carroll County native Dave Harden, who’s running to modernize the Eastern Shore and help Maryland’s first congressional district unlock its full potential, spoke positively of his campaign progress, saying that they were winning.

The Democrat has big plans to address the economic and environmental issues on the Shore. His platform seeks to preserve the natural treasures of the area through tackling climate change, preserving the Chesapeake Bay and supporting the area’s watermen and farmers.

However, Harden’s biggest goal is to unseat the conservative Harris, who he has openly criticized for leaving the congressional district behind in several aspects.

“You know what? America is sick of extremists — left, right, they’re tired of it,” Harden said. “They want common sense, they want people that are going to get something done.”

“We’re sick of the polarization, we can do better,” he continued.

Heather Mizeur, a former gubernatorial candidate and member of the Maryland House of Delegates, also spoke positively of her campaign progress, saying it was going “incredibly well.” Like Harden, her campaign goal is to beat the district’s Republican incumbent.

“We are on fire and we are going to clobber Andy Harris in the general election,” Mizeur said.

Mizeur has taken strong stances on protecting the environment, both in Maryland and at a national level. Another key feature of her campaign is a plan to ease the digital divide by deploying broadband in rural parts of Maryland — an issue that plagues some of the Shore’s most remote areas.

“We have the money, the enthusiasm, the boots on the ground,” she said of her campaign. “We just announced that we’ve raised over a million dollars by the end of the third quarter — the first time a candidate from either party, incumbent or challenger, has ever raised that much money this early in the race.”

Money is energy and enthusiasm from the people, she said. Her campaign has already hosted events throughout the district, and Mizeur’s view is that you don’t have to wait to win an election to make a difference.

However, unlike his Democratic challengers, Harris is not in campaign mode yet.

“Look, we’re still worried about saving the country from the infrastructure bills and the ever-increasing debt and deficit,” he said. “That’s what we have to concentrate on right now; we’ll get around to campaigns next year, plenty of time for that.”

“Right now, we got to just work on saving America,” Harris continued.

Harris was first elected in 2010, backs former President Donald Trump and easily won reelection over Democrat Mia Mason in 2020.

{span class=”print_trim”}Natalie Jones is a reporter at The Star Democrat in Easton covering crime, health, education and Talbot County Council. You can reach her with questions, comments or tips at njones@chespub.com.

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