Democratic leadership backs January 6 cop for Congress: Who is Harry Dunn?

Under the slogan "Protect our democracy," the 40-year-old officer is running to represent Maryland's third electoral district in the House of Representatives.

Despite facing a very unfavorable electoral map in the Senate and an uphill race at the presidential level, Democrats are hopeful of regaining the majority in the House of Representatives. The leadership hopes to integrate that eventual majority with Harry Dunn, a police officer who was at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Under the motto "protect our democracy," the 40-year-old man who worked for 15 years in Congress supports his campaign on his January 6 experience, which he defines as "a violent insurrection bent on destroying our democracy."

On January 6, 2023, on the second anniversary of the storming of the Capitol, President Joe Biden awarded Dunn the Presidential Citizen's Medal, the second-highest civilian honor in the United States.

With these credentials, Dunn happens to be the leadership favorite to represent Maryland's 3rd congressional district in the House of Representatives, a seat he hopes to inherit from John Sarbanes, one of 25 Democrats who will not be renewing their seats in November.

Indeed, he was recently officially endorsed by Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and James Clyburn (D-SC), a very influential name within the Democratic caucus.

"Harry Dunn is a proven, patriotic leader with a deep understanding of the issues facing Maryland, a state we both grew up in and both love. I am proud to endorse Harry Dunn for Congress, confident in his ability to deliver real results for the people of Maryland's 3rd District," the former House speaker said in a statement.

"I saw Officer Dunn’s courage firsthand in the face of unprecedented violence and insurrection on January 6th, when he stood firm to protect the Capitol, the Constitution and democracy itself. I am personally grateful for the life-saving protection that he provided to my staff, to me and to so many others in the Capitol," she added.

Clyburn, who happens to be the most influential African-American leader in Congress, also chose to express himself through a statement.

"I first got to know Harry as a public servant who protected the seat of democracy. It’s been no surprise to me that since January 6th, he has stood up for what is right and called out the extremist threats to our seat of democracy. We have so much to accomplish for the American people and Harry’s experience, story, and selfless nature will be key to ensuring a Democratic majority that can bring results for the American people," the congressman noted.

Dunn's agenda is based on democracy, which he defines as " a sport that is not for spectators." He supports the Freedom to Vote Act, excluding companies from political campaigns by nullifying Citizens United vs. FEC and converting Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. to states with full representation in Congress.

“Obviously, my experiences on January 6 I saw firsthand democracy under attack. It’s no exaggeration to say we are one election away from the extinction of our democracy as we know it right now," Dunn declared in dialogue with CNN, hours after launching his campaign in early 2024.

In turn, he is in favor of passing a law that legalizes abortion nationwide, a minimum wage of $15 an hour, expanding social security, "closing the gender wage gap" and protecting unions.

Although the open race for Sarbanes' seat attracted 21 Democrats, Dunn recently came into the lead in the polls, although he remains neck and neck with Sarah Elfrethl, a state senator. In turn, the police officer far surpasses his rivals in fundraising, raising more than $3 million by March 31.