Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: January 25, 1957, Brooklyn, NY

Home: Cockeysville

Education: Johns Hopkins U., B.S. 1977; M.D. 1980; M.H.S. 1995.

Professional Career: Anesthesiologist, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1980-2010; assoc. prof., Johns Hopkins Medical Schl., 1984-2010.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Sylvia) , 5 children

Andy Harris, who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil in 2010, is the lone Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation. He juggles working with his Terrapin State colleagues on local matters with agitating for his fervently conservative views.

Harris, a Johns Hopkins University anesthesiologist and professor, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father, a Hungarian anti-communist activist, had been jailed in a Siberian gulag for over a year for his political views before meeting Harris’ mother, who had fled Ukraine, at a displaced persons camp in Austria. Harris credits his parents’ escape from communism and the spirited dinner-table conversations they encouraged among their four sons with fostering his fiercely held beliefs in the ills of big government and the sanctity of the private sector. After Harris completed his medical studies at Johns Hopkins, he began to practice and teach there. He and his wife, Sylvia, have five children and live in a suburb north of Baltimore.

Harris was elected to the state Senate to represent Baltimore County in 1998. In Annapolis, he was one of the most conservative members, and he served as the chamber’s minority whip from 2003 to 2007. He picked up a reputation for his artful filibusters—during a fight against a stem cell research bill, he read from a biology textbook on DNA.

In 2008, Harris challenged 1st District Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, a moderate Republican, in a bloody GOP primary battle. When Harris defeated him, Gilchrest refused to concede the race to Harris and then endorsed Kratovil, the Democratic candidate, for the seat. In the general election campaign, Kratovil continued Gilchrest’s primary strategy of portraying Harris as too far right for the district and he edged Harris out by fewer than 3,000 votes.

Harris came back for a rematch in 2010. He cast Kratovil as a puppet for President Barack Obama in a year when anti-incumbent anger was on the rise and voters were deeply divided over the president’s overhaul of the health insurance system. Running on vows not to raise taxes and to repeal the health care overhaul, Harris connected with angry Republicans in a district that gave Sen. John McCain of Arizona nearly 60% of the vote in the 2008 presidential race. Both candidates were hearty fundraisers. Harris raised almost $2.4 million while Kratovil brought in about $2.6 million. Since he first ran in 2008, Harris also had started to practice medicine a few days a week on the Eastern Shore, which helped deflect the sort of criticism he received in 2008 for running in an area where he had spent little time.

Kratovil also attacked Harris for his support of a conservative proposal to replace the income tax with a national sales tax. At the same time, Kratovil highlighted his differences with Obama over extending the Bush-era tax cuts, saying he favored an across-the-board extension while the president had said he would let them expire for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But after just one term in office, Kratovil got swept away by 2010’s Republican tide, losing to Harris, 54% to 42%.

Harris made national news soon after the election, but probably not in the way he preferred. At an orientation session for incoming lawmakers, Harris complained that his government-subsidized health plan would take a month to kick in, remarks that were widely circulated and paired with his staunch opposition to a government-run health care plan for low-income people priced out of the private insurance market.

He said the “proudest moment” of his first few months in office was voting for the House-passed omnibus spending bill that cut $61 billion for fiscal 2011. At the outset of the 113th Congress (2013-14), Harris infuriated Maryland Democrats by joining 66 Republicans in voting against $9.7 billion in relief from Hurricane Sandy, which had battered parts of the Eastern Shore. He explained he wanted the bill to strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program instead of writing “another blank check.” In May 2012, Harris successfully amended a House-passed science spending bill to strip out $542,000 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate website, saying he feared such agencies could “become little propaganda sources instead of a science source.”

Harris sought to help the Eastern Shore by introducing a bill in 2011 authorizing federal money to study oxygen-starved “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico that drive away fish. Some environmentalists criticized the measure, saying it emphasized research instead of action. Outside the Capitol, he used his medical training in September to help save the life of a 2-year-old boy who had stopped breathing while traveling in a car in rural Maryland.

In his 2012 reelection bid, Harris got several fortunate breaks. First, Kratovil decided against another rematch; then, Maryland’s Democratic redistricters decided to focus on ousting 6th District Republican Roscoe Bartlett. They ended up adding more Republicans from Baltimore’s northern suburbs to Harris’ district. Finally, his Democratic rival, businesswoman Wendy Rosen, unexpectedly dropped out of the race in September after the state party said she had voted in both Maryland and Florida in two earlier elections. Democrats quickly got physician John LaFerla to run as a write-in candidate, but Harris coasted to a win with 63% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5311

(202) 225-0254

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1533
Washington, DC 20515-2001

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5311

(202) 225-0254

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1533
Washington, DC 20515-2001

DISTRICT OFFICE

(410) 643-5425

(410) 643-5429

100 Olde Point Village Suite 101
Chester, MD 21619-2140

DISTRICT OFFICE

(410) 643-5425

(410) 643-5429

100 Olde Point Village Suite 101
Chester, MD 21619-2140

DISTRICT OFFICE

(410) 588-5670

(410) 588-5673

15 East Churchville Road Suite 102B
Bel Air, MD 21014-3837

DISTRICT OFFICE

(410) 588-5670

(410) 588-5673

15 East Churchville Road Suite 102B
Bel Air, MD 21014-3837

DISTRICT OFFICE

(443) 944-8624

(443) 944-8625

212 West Main Street Suite 204 B
Salisbury, MD 21801

DISTRICT OFFICE

(443) 944-8624

(443) 944-8625

212 West Main Street Suite 204 B
Salisbury, MD 21801

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 426
Stevensville, MD 21666

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(443) 955-3048

PO Box 426
Stevensville, MD 21666

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Kaitlyn Dwyer
Legislative Correspondent

Aerospace

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Agriculture

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Appropriations

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Budget

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Campaign

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Commerce

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Crime

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Education

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

Energy

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Environment

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Finance

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Foreign

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Gun Issues

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Homeland Security

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Housing

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Human Rights

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Immigration

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Judiciary

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Labor

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Medicare

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Military

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Minorities

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Native Americans

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Rules

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Science

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Social Security

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Trade

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Veterans

Timothy Daniels
Legislative Assistant

John Dutton
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Andy Harris
Votes: 214,204
Percent: 63.99%
Wendy Rosen
Votes: 92,812
Percent: 27.73%
2012 PRIMARY
Andy Harris
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Andy Harris
Votes: 155,118
Percent: 54.08%
Frank Kratovil
Votes: 120,400
Percent: 41.98%
2010 PRIMARY
Andy Harris
Votes: 46,227
Percent: 67.35%
Rob Fisher
Votes: 22,409
Percent: 32.65%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (54%)

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