Rep. Andy Harris appears to be embracing a role in helping build the Republican Party in Maryland.
Harris, a two-term congressman, is the featured guest at a Jan. 7 fundraiser for Eastern Shore Del. Michael McDermott, who is said to be eying a run for state Senate. Harris is also scheduled tomorrow to be the featured speaker at a Jan. 8 joint meeting of Republican delegates and senators before the General Assembly reconvenes on Jan. 9.
Harris also has close ties with Republican former senator Alex Mooney, who now heads the state Republican Party. While in the Senate, both had reputations for their fund raising efforts.
Harris assisted with the election of Tari Moore as the first county executive in Cecil County. Moore switched her party affiliation to independent before being sworn-in in an attempt to prevent other state legislators from having an hand in naming a replacement to her seat on the Cecil County Council, according to The Daily Record.
In 2006, Harris provided financial backing for Doug Riley in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Sen. Jim Brochin. Kathy Szeliga, a former aide to Harris when he served in the Senate, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2010.
Harris was not immediately available for comment. A source close to Harris said the congressman plans to assist Republicans running for office in Maryland starting with those in his district which stretches from the Eastern Shore to parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford Counties.