Could Kerri Evelyn Harris Bring the Next Major Upset?
Following Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory against incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in NY’s primary, establishment challengers are getting more and more attention. One of those candidates is Kerri Evelyn Harris, who is taking on Senator Tom Carper in Delaware’s Democratic primary. The 38-year-old biracial lesbian civil rights activist and veteran is challenging Carper from the left, on a platform that includes calls to abolish ICE, single-payer healthcare, and racial and economic justice. She currently serves as the Program Director for the Achievement Matters program at the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, which helps reduce the achievement gap for middle-school students. She is also pursuing a Bachelor's in nonprofit management from Wilmington University. The mother of one joined the Air Force after 9/11 and, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, she did double duty by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity rebuilding houses along the Gulf Coast at night. After serving for eight years in the military, Harris retired in 2008 because of medical complications from an anthrax vaccine. She retired in the midst of the Great Recession, and her post-military career résumé includes lawn mower, fried chicken cook, acupuncturist, auto body mechanic, and manager of a leadership program for former gang members. “The average person in Delaware looks like me,” she says. “I know those struggles. I’ve lived those struggles, even now running the campaign. I drive a beater 1999 Volkswagen, and I could fix the car but I don’t have time to fix the car. I know what everybody’s going through, and I’m going through it with them as I’m running the campaign. I am with them. It’s a humbling experience, to say the least.” Harris co-founded the Delaware Civil Rights Coalition -- a group of a dozen civil rights and religious organizations which works to combat broad attacks on women, Muslims, African Americans, and the LGBTQ community -- on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration. More about her here.