Third Time A Charm For Harmer?


Will congressional candidate David Harmer
go down in a “Blaze of Glory”?

Does David Harmer belong to the state of Utah where he once ran for Congress in 1996, California’s Central Valley where he lost the special election for the 10th District to Rep. John Garamendi or incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney’s 11th District? As Jon Bon Jovi once sang, “I never drew first but I drew first blood/I’m no one’s son, call me young gun.”

In fact, the Republican Party named Harmer one of its own “Young Guns” last June–conservative candidates deemed to have a shot at unseating incumbent congressional Democrats this fall. Forty of these candidates stand gain handsomely from support and fundraising from the national party apparatus.

To get those precious dollars needed to unseat the two-term McNerney, Harmer had to travel last Friday to Utah for a fundraising event, according to the Mormon-owned Deseret News. Harmer, who was born in California, is Mormon and attended Brigham Young. His father, John Harmer, was lieutenant governor under Ronald Reagan. In another article published recently by the Deseret News, Harmer was featured as one of a handful of possible Mormons on November ballots across the nation, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Critics of Harmer have pointed to his past candidacies for the House in Utah and the 10th District as proof he is a political opportunist. Harmer lost to Garamendi in 2009 for Ellen Tauscher’s seat and a year later has set his sights on McNerney’s neighboring seat. One of Harmer’s opponents in the open primary election in June 2009 for Tauscher’s seat, Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan is also facing the same criticism after she quickly entered the race for re-election of her assembly seat after finishing a disappointing fourth in the 10th District’s primary.

Polls show Harmer running nearly 10 points behind McNerney, who himself once benefited with help from Democrats to defeat long-time congressman Richard Pombo in 2006. Pombo was famously nicknamed “Cowboy” by former president George W. Bush. Recently, Harmer has publicly challenged McNerney to a series of debates throughout the valley, but the incumbent has yet to respond. With a somewhat comfortable lead heading towards Labor Day, McNerney may not want to give his challenger an opportunity to gain ground.