CHESTERTOWN — Mia Mason dropped out of the 1st District race this summer, throwing her support behind Heather Mizeur, while Dave Harden has secured the endorsement of the head of the Delmarva Fisheries Association.
With Mason out, the 2022 Democratic Primary race is between Mizeur, Harden and Cecil County resident Jennifer Pingley. Pingley and Mason both ran in 2020; this is the first congressional bid for Mizeur and Harden.
The four-person race for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, dropped to three candidates with Mason’s departure in July. Mason was the incumbent nominee from the 2020 campaign, though she had cited family issues in her plans to initially take time off from the campaign and relaunch in the fall.
In late July, Mason threw her support behind Kent County resident Mizeur, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and a 2016 gubernatorial candidate.
Mason said in a statement July 20 that while family issues are holding her out of the 2022 race she is “100 percent behind electing Heather Mizeur as the next Congresswoman from Maryland’s First District.” Mason cited Mizeur’s experience, knowledge, temperament and dedication.
“I have had a chance to witness Heather Mizeur up close and behind the scenes,” Mason said. “While we were competitors in this primary, she always shared my values of friendship and collaboration together, staying focused on our common goal of defeating Andy Harris and showing me and my wife extraordinary kindness and encouragement.”
Mizeur said she could not be more proud to stand with Mason in the campaign.
“Mia Mason is a pillar of grit, determination, courage, and selfless sacrifice. Her dedication to community and national service as both a candidate for office and a military veteran means that she is well-versed in putting the needs of others ahead of her own,” Mizeur said.
Harden is a Carroll County resident who was previously in the Foreign Service and now runs a consulting firm.
Late last month, he announced his latest local endorsement coming from Queen Anne’s County resident and waterman Capt. Robert Newberry.
“When natural resources are at risk, the locals usually pay the price. In the Chesapeake region, the watermen bear the cost of our collective failure to protect the Bay. Dave Harden understands that we are the stewards of the future and without our involvement, Maryland will lose its national treasure, the Chesapeake Bay,” said Newberry, chairman of Delmarva Fisheries Association Inc., in a news release issued Aug. 20.
The release from Harden’s campaign team called watermen central to the Chesapeake Bay, the economy and the future. Harden’s campaign highlighted the “enormity” of Newberry’s endorsement.
“The watermen are a traditionally conservative voting body. Their leading advocate now looks to Dave Harden, a first-time democratic politician, who is focused on results rather than divisive rhetoric,” the release states.
Harden’s campaign also touted the endorsement of Tarence Bailey, a community leader and descendent of Frederick Douglass.
“The Harden campaign has made deep inroads with the communities most affected by the issues of our century; including climate change, economic inflection points, and challenges to our democracy. Dave is working closely with the watermen, the African American community of the 1st district, and local stakeholders who see Dave as the best leader to navigate the 1st district to a point of economic and environmental fortitude,” the campaign release states.
Mizeur is leading the Democratic pack in fundraising, reporting total contributions between Jan. 1 and June 30 of $717,445 to the Federal Election Commission. Harden’s first report came after the second quarter, covering April 1 to June 30, showing a total of $123,165 in receipts. No report was listed for Pingley.
Harris has reportedly raised $425,288 for the first two quarters of 2021, though his total ending campaign cash on hand as of June 30 comes out to just shy of $1.3 million.