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Rep. Andy Harris fires back at Harford County councilman’s call for his resignation

Rep. Andy Harris fired back at Harford County Councilman Andre Johnson after being called on to resign following his opposition to certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the general election.

Harris, a Republican representing Maryland’s 1st District, said Johnson’s stance was hypocritical and partisan, while Johnson maintains that it is not a party issue and that Harris’ letter was dismissive of his point.

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“It is not partisan, it is just not,” Johnson, a Democrat, said. “I try to break it down into plain language — right is right and wrong is wrong, period, full stop.”

Johnson, in a letter sent to Harris and posted to Johnson’s Twitter account last weekend, called on Harris to “please do the people of this great state a favor and resign so they can have an honorable representative,” writing that the congressman, “by supporting lies and conspiracy theories ... created division instead of unity as a means to further a political agenda.”

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Harris, in his Jan. 21 retort, which he also posted on Twitter, that Johnson had failed to curb drug use and crime in his Edgewood and Joppa district and claimed Johnson’s call for his resignation was a “petty political machination.” Harris wrote that he was supporting the process of fair and free elections, implying that Pennsylvania ballots accepted days after the election were “ripe for fraud” and the state’s decision to not require signatures for mail-in ballots opened the electoral process up to tampering.

“I supported and defended the Constitution, which states it is not up to you or me to make these decisions — it is only up to the Pennsylvania Legislature,” Harris wrote.

“It’s hypocritical of you to say I should [resign] when you didn’t say so in 2017 to other members of Maryland’s delegation,” Harris tweeted, in reference to objections to President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory. Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, was among those who objected.

“The ‘tolerant’ left is at it again with their cancel culture politics,” Harris continued.

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Harris said he supports Americans’ rights to peacefully protest, but unequivocally did not support the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 or last summer, possibly referring to the protests of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, which sparked protests across the nation. He accused Johnson of seeking to cancel him for his stance.

“The cancel culture, which you shamefully and implicitly endorse in your letter, goes against the very foundation of our democratic republic,” Harris wrote. “I truly believe we are better off with respectfully presented (never violent), diverse, and differing opinions.”

Johnson said Harris was wrong to oppose the certification of Biden’s election victory, saying he was giving heed to those who stormed the Capitol on the day of certification. His view that Harris was wrong to oppose the certification remains unchanged, as do the legal rulings on the matter, he said.

“Sometimes you have got to stand up for what is right, and maybe in his mind he is right,” Johnson said. “Sixty-some odd courts say that he is wrong.”

Johnson also rejected Harris’ claim of hypocrisy, saying that Harris does not represent Pennsylvania.

Harris abstained from voting in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment and voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. No evidence of fraud was presented.

Both lawmakers represent separate districts. Harris represents Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, which encompasses the Eastern Shore and includes parts of Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties. Councilmanic District A, which Johnson represents on the county council, is part of Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District, represented by C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

Harris has come under fire from numerous Maryland lawmakers, Johnson being the latest, and including Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, a Republican, who has indicated he is weighing running in a primary against Harris in 2022, once his local term ends.

Johnson said he will not write a reply to avoid political bickering; he only had one more thing to add.

“Bless his heart,” Johnson said.

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