Former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn launches run for Congress in Maryland

Former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn launches run for Congress in Maryland

Former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn is kicking off a bid for Congress in Maryland to succeed retiring Rep. John Sarbanes, emphasizing the need to protect democracy after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“I like to live by the phrase, ‘Until there’s nothing that can be done, there’s always something that can be done,’“ Dunn said in an interview. “As a Capitol Police officer, I did all that I can do in that role to protect, defend, and preserve democracy. But that is exhausted now.”

Dunn, a 15-year veteran of the Hill’s police force, departed the force last month. He became well-known after testifying before the Jan. 6 select panel with other officers about the horrors law enforcement had faced that day and the lingering trauma. Since then, Dunn has been outspoken about the insurrection and has built a large social media following.

The decision by Sarbanes (D-Md.) not to run for reelection last October has kicked off a scramble to succeed him in Maryland’s 3rd District, a solidly liberal amalgam of suburban Baltimore enclaves. Dunn was unphased by the crowded field, saying they were “career politicians” while he was a “career public servant.”

“I truly believe that is one of the reasons why, because I am no stranger to public service. I spent the last 15 plus years of my life dedicated not only to public service, but to defending democracy,” he said.

Asked about his policy platform, Dunn cited a laundry list of priorities including democracy protection, gun reform, infrastructure and transit, and public safety.

The congressional bid will be his first time running for elected office, outside of a bid to lead the Capitol Police union. But the veteran officer said his immersion on the Hill gave him plenty of exposure to politics.

“I spent the last 15 years of my life being around elected officials every single day, having personal relationships with them, talking to them. And I pay attention to my surroundings, I pay attention to everything, not just only elected officials,” he said.

Although he hadn’t discussed the bid with Sarbanes prior to making his decision, Dunn said he looked forward to seeking guidance from him and other elected leaders.

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