|Virginia House of Delegates, District 12|
Harder's website highlighted the following campaign themes:
Excerpt: "Education is the foundation of my platform. I understand the challenges and potential in our education system from my experience as a student in our public schools, community colleges, and universities, as well as being a teaching assistant at Virginia Tech. I will be a leader for promoting quality education in Virginia’s public schools and university systems."
- Local Economy
Excerpt: "I am committed to bringing jobs to Southwest Virginia by working to support and showcase local businesses in the New River Valley. We must capitalize on our growing technology sector, and I will work to promote more commercialization of university research. Additionally, one of my first legislative acts will be to make sure that Virginia companies get first crack at state contracts—instead of companies from Mexico, China and India. I also believe the 12th District can be a leader in the modern renaissance of the small farmer."
Excerpt: "Protecting our environment and preserving our region’s natural beauty are priorities for me. I want our future generations to be able to enjoy the natural wonders we have in the New River Valley and throughout the Commonwealth. Incorporating environmentally smart decisions into individuals and businesses is something I strive to do personally and something I will advance through legislation in Richmond. In addition to preservation, we have tremendous opportunities to turn environmentally smart decisions into economic drivers by creating green businesses that hire local workers, stimulating environmental practices in businesses and individuals, and expanding our eco-tourism industry."
- Women’s Rights
Excerpt: "One of the reasons that I entered this race was the extreme positions that my opponent has taken on women’s healthcare issues. I grew up watching my grandmother, former Delegate Joan Munford, be a strong advocate for the rights of women and I couldn’t stand by as my own representative moved our Commonwealth backwards. As a father, husband and son, I will be a strong advocate for women in Richmond and fight to protect the rights that groundbreaking women like my grandmother fought for decades ago."
- Getting our fair share
Excerpt: "I believe that we need leadership in Richmond to ensure Southwest Virginia gets its fair share of state resources. This issue has been recently visible with the state’s new transportation package. Delegate Yost’s inability to bring money back to our region demonstrates he is out of touch and not able to provide us with the leadership we deserve. I will go to Richmond and fight to make sure the New River Valley is getting its fair share of transportation, education, and public service dollars."
Harder ran in the 2013 election for Virginia House of Delegates District 12. Harder ran unopposed in the June 11 Democratic primary. He was defeated by incumbent Joseph Yost (R) in the general election on November 5, 2013.
|Virginia House of Delegates, District 12 General Election, 2013|
|Republican||Joseph Yost Incumbent||52.3%||9,541|
Harder is a Ph.D. student and former Congressional staffer who chose to contest a district held by Democrats for years until 2011, when incumbent Joseph Yost (R) won the district with just under 52 percent of the vote. President Barack Obama (D) won 51 percent of the vote within this district's borders in 2012, and Governor Bob McDonnell (R) captured 51 percent of the vote here in 2009, suggesting this was truly a swing district. However, Yost's moderate views and record won him the endorsement of LGBT rights group Equality Virginia PAC, which did not endorse any other Republican House of Delegates candidates during the 2013 election cycle, and won Yost the award "2013 Legislative Champion of the Year" from the Virginia Education Association. Harder's campaign was endorsed by the pro-Democratic group Democracy for America.
Harder and his wife, Nancy, have one child, Cole.
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- Harder's Campaign Website
- Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech Project Vote Smart profile
- Roanoke Free Press, "OP-ED: James Harder candidate for the 12th District House of Delegates," July 16, 2013
- Harder for House of Facebook
- Virginia Public Access Profile
- BlueVirginia, "Democracy for America Adds 4 Virginia House of Delegates Districts to its 'Purple to Blue' Program," May 30, 2013
- The Burgs, "12th House District is targeted for Democratic spending," July 17, 2013
- ↑ Virginia State Board of Elections, "2013 Official Candidates List for House of Delegates by District", Accessed July 11, 2013
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, "James D. Harder - Biography," accessed August 27, 2013
- ↑ Harder for House, "Issues," accessed August 27, 2013
- ↑ Virginia Board of Elections, “Official Results - 2013 General Election," accessed December 2, 2013
- ↑ VPAP, "House of Delegates District 12," accessed October 2, 2013
- ↑ WSLS, "Delegate Joseph Yost dubbed Legislative Champion of the Year"
- ↑ MetroWeekly, "Equality Virginia PAC releases first wave of state delegate endorsements," September 25, 2013
- ↑ University of Virginia Center for Politics, Sabato's Crystal Ball, "Republicans Certain to Retain Control of Virginia House of Delegates," August 8, 2013
- ↑ Democracy for America, "Harder for the House," accessed October 2, 2013
- ↑ Harder for House, "Bio," accessed August 27, 2013
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