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Harry Dunn, Capitol Police Hero of Jan. 6, Falls Short in Maryland Congressional Race

Jan. 6 Defender Harry Dunn Loses Democratic Primary for Maryland House Seat

Harry Dunn, a former Capitol Police officer who bravely defended the Capitol Building on January 6, had a dream of returning four years later as a congressman.

However, his political aspirations were cut short on Tuesday when he lost the Democratic nomination for a House seat in Maryland to state Senator Sarah Elfreth.

Despite garnering national attention and raising $3.75 million from grassroots donors, Dunn’s Jan. 6-centric messaging ultimately fell short against Elfreth’s more traditional Democratic platform.

Elfreth, the youngest woman to serve in the Maryland Senate, ran on a platform highlighting abortion access, gun safety, and economic growth.

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn’s Bid for Congress Ends in Maryland Primary Defeat

She differentiated herself from Dunn and other experienced state legislators vying for the nomination, and received a significant boost from the United Democracy Project, a super PAC affiliated with the pro-Israel lobby, which poured over $4 million into her campaign.

While Elfreth claimed surprise at the UDP’s involvement, Dunn made an issue of it, criticizing her for accepting “dark money” help.

With the UDP’s support, Elfreth is now well-positioned to clinch the seat in the comfortably blue suburban Baltimore district, which has a 10-point Democratic lean, according to the Cook Political Report.

The seat was left open by retiring Rep. John Sarbanes, a nine-term congressman and leader on election transparency, a fact that Dunn had highlighted in his campaign.

Despite his loss, Dunn’s run for office tested the salience of pro-democracy messaging in a Democratic primary, and his prominence and focus on the Capitol riot brought attention to the importance of defending democracy.

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