James Harder

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James Harder
James Harder.jpg
Candidate for
Virginia House of Delegates, District 12
ProfessionPh.D. student
Campaign website
James Harder was a 2013 Democratic candidate for District 12 of the Virginia House of Delegates.[1]


Harder is completing his Ph.D. at the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. Previously, he worked as a staffer for U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher (D).[2]


Campaign themes


Harder's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[3]

  • Education

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."

  • Environment

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."



See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2013

Harder is running in the 2013 election for Virginia House of Delegates District 12. Harder ran unopposed in the June 11 Democratic primary. The general election takes place on November 5, 2013.


Harder and his wife, Nancy, have one child, Cole.[4]

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