How about political office?

Absolutely.

What's it like for you as the daughter of such a public figure, because every congressman has his critics?

I think we've been very well sheltered from it. It doesn't really affect us (Harris and her four siblings) much. We're definitely involved in the politics of campaigning, but he does try to keep us out of the ugly comments and everything. If we do hear things, we ask him about it and he'll explain things. It's not a problem. We have family dinner discussions about political topics.


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Did you work in his last campaign?

We've worked in every campaign since I was born. This last one, now that he started running for Congress, it's been a little bit less local because his district is bigger. We've been mainly doing family things, going to functions with my dad, sign waving, phone calls. When he did the (state) Senate campaign, it was different, a little bit smaller, a little bit more grass roots. We'd go door-to-door.

How did you become involved in the pro-life movement, and why is it very important to you?

My mom (Cookie Harris) actually is a big pro-life leader in the Maryland community and so always when we were growing up, we'd be involved in pro-life events. It does get to a point when you have to make a decision, like whether I would want to keep doing things with her or find my own cause, and it's something I feel very strongly about. I love living, I love life and so I want to help others celebrate it. This is the best way for me to do that.

Why do you think it's important for teenagers to be politically active?

I think that teenagers especially teenagers like here, the girls that are Catholic who are pro-life, they do have stances on political issues and it's important that we show that this next generation does stand for something and that we think those things are worth fighting for, because we're not the ones who are going to make the changes right now. If we don't stand by what we believe right now, it could be taken away from us. A lot of changes are happening now and we can't wait until we're of voting age or of age to run for office to affect those changes. If we're going to make a difference, we have to do it now.

Who do you look up to?

My parents. They have just been strong role models for me in every area of their lives. My dad is always working so hard for things that he believes in and to support us as a family and I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as he does. That’s something I always try to imitate. And then my mom, even though she’s busy with our family, she always finds time for her work in the pro-life movement and for her friends. She always has time for other people, even if that means taking time away from herself.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Our team chaplain during cross country, Sister Amelia, gives us little phrases before our cross country races and my favorite one was, “Be not afraid.” She explained to us that it’s found 365 times in the Bible, once for every day of the year, and that’s something that I took out of cross country for everything I do.

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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