Andy Har­ris re­acts to District 1 elec­tion win

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By JOSH BOLLINGER jbollinger@star­dem.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @jboll_ star­dem.

EAS­TON — Repub­li­can Con­gress­man Andy Har­ris got more than twice as many votes as both of his op­po­nents com­bined in the race for Mary­land’s District 1 House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives seat.

As of Wed­nes­day, be­fore ab­sen­tee and pro­vi­sional bal­lots were counted, Har­ris had 229,135 votes, or close to 68 per­cent. Har­ris’ Demo­cratic chal­lenger, Joe Werner, had 94,776, or 28 per­cent of the votes. His Lib­er­tar­ian chal­lenger, Matt Beers, had a to­tal of 14,207 of the votes, polling slightly more than 4 per­cent. There were 484 write-in votes.

District 1 Repub­li­cans vastly out­num­bered Democrats at the polls Tues­day. More than 106,000 Repub­li­cans in the district voted Tues­day, while close to 53,000 Democrats cast bal­lots. Close to 1,800 peo­ple af­fil­i­ated with other par­ties, like the Lib­er­tar­ian and Green par­ties, also went to the polls.

On the Mid-Shore, Har­ris had his best show­ing in Queen Anne’s County, where he gained about 17,350 votes to Werner’s nearly 6,200 votes and Beers’ 975. The clos­est con­test was in Kent County, where there was a 1,557 vote dif­fer­ence be­tween Har­ris and Werner. Har­ris came out on top in ev­ery county of the district.

Har­ris is en­ter­ing his fourth term and will re­main the only Repub­li­can Mar yland.

Repub­li­cans main­tained ma­jor­ity in both cham­bers of the U.S. Congress, and a Repub­li­can pres­i­dent will soon take of­fice, Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump, who was pro­jected to win the Elec­toral Col­lege vote Wed­nes­day.

Har­ris is look­ing to se­cure a role as chair­man of the Repub­li­can Study Com­mit­tee, the largest Repub­li­can cau­cus in Congress. Should that hap­pen, he said he would be well po­si­tioned to ad­vance the pol­icy is­sues that are of in­ter­est to him and im­por­tant to District 1.

And with a Repub­li­can con­trolled Congress and a pres­i­dent “who will ac­tu­ally sign leg­is­la­tion that Con­gress­man from comes out of a Repub­li­can Congress,” Har­ris said, “We’re go­ing to have to prove to the Amer­i­can peo­ple that we can ac­tu­ally solve the prob­lems that they’re wor­ried about.”

Congress goes back into ses­sion next week, and Har­ris said he will start by help­ing with an ef­fort to de­lay any fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion of the fed­eral bud­get un­til Jan­uary, when Trump is sworn into of­fice.

“Why con­sider them now when we can con­sider them with a Repub­li­can pres­i­dent ... who will agree with the Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity?” Har­ris said.

As with re­cent years, although those were due to grid­lock in Congress over bud­get is­sues, a con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion will likely be passed that keeps the fed­eral gov­ern­ment funded at its cur­rent level, Har­ris said.

Har­ris also said he’s heard ru­mors of the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion push­ing last-minute reg­u­la­tions through Congress “that would be harm­ful to the econ­omy” be­fore the pres­i­dent’s term ends. He will also work to block those, he said.

Over­all on the District 1 elec­tion, Har­ris said the re­sults show that the vot­ers of the district have been pay­ing at­ten­tion to how he rep­re­sents them, that “I stand up for the in­dus­tries that are im­por­tant” to the district.

Joe Werner could not be reached for com­ment.

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