Harrison Bids for Seat in House of Delegates

Prince George’s County

by: James Wright Special to the AFRO jwright@afro.com
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Andrea Harrison has represented the residents of District 5 in Prince George’s County on its county council for nearly a decade. Now, she wants to use that experience as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 24.

Andrea Harrison is running for the Maryland House of Delegates after serving on the county council for nearly a decade. (Courtesy photo)

“I am the best candidate in the race,” Harrison told the AFRO. “I ran for the House of Delegates in 2002 and didn’t win but this is something that I have wanted to do again. This is my home and this is where I grew up.”

Harrison worked as a top aide to then Prince George’s County Council member David Harrington (D-District 5) from 2002-2008 before he decided to run successfully for the Maryland State Senate. Harrison ran in the special election to replace Harrington in 2008 and won and is the longest-serving member of the county council, presently.

Term limits will not allow Harrison to run for re-election in District 5 and she said she wasn’t interested in the two at-large positions available in 2018. She has served as the chair of the council for two terms.

Harrison has strong ties to Prince George’s County, with her father, the late James C. Fletcher,

serving in Glenarden, Md. as a city council member and mayor before his election to the county council. She attended the county’s public schools and received an associate’s degree from Prince George’s Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Bowie State University.

Before she got into politics in 2002, she was active with the Ardmore Springdale Civic Association and served as its president, vice president, and secretary from 1994-2007.

Harrison is married with children and attends the First Baptist Church of Highland Park in Hyattsville, Md.

Harrison is proud of her work as the author of the Prince George’s County’s Jobs First Act, which requires businesses who want to set up operations in the county to first consider residents and local firms for employment and contracting opportunities. She also played a role in the development of the Woodmore Town Center that features one of the Washington, D.C. area’s few Wegman’s stores and a Costco, and sponsored legislation that would raise the county’s minimum wage.

Harrison is competing for the three delegates spots with Maryland Delegates Erek Barron and Jazz Lewis, both Democrats, and Maurice Simpson Jr., the president of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats. She said her experience as an elected official sets her apart from her opponents.

“I am the only one in the race that has local experience in government,” she said. “That experience is critical to addressing the needs of Prince Georgians in Annapolis. The people of the 24th District need lawmakers at the state level who have compassion for people at the local level.”

Barron and Lewis are strong political allies of Maryland State Sen. Joanne Benson (D-District 24). Harrison said she is an independent as far as being on a slate is concerned “but I believe they all should want me.”

Harrison said that as a delegate, she will work to see the state’s health exchange continues to thrive, work for a living wage that goes statewide and will bring resources for public safety agencies in the county. She said the 15 Metro stations could serve as vital economic development hubs and transportation portals for residents and yet she will fight for highway user funds to build better roads.

“Our roads in Prince George’s County aren’t as bad as in other places in the Washington region, but I will work to make them better,” Harrison said.

If Harrison wins in both the Democratic Primary scheduled on June 26, 2018, and the general election on Nov. 6, 2018, she will have to work with others in the House delegation and that includes Maryland Del. Angela Angel (D-District 25). Angel told the AFRO that she doesn’t meddle in other delegates’ races but thinks highly of Harrison. “I know that on the county council, Harrison is a staunch advocate for the people she represents,” Angel said. “I think she is great. I admire and respect her.”

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