My home stretch interview with Kerri Harris

Filed in National by on August 15, 2018

Ed Note:  I had a chance to speak with Kerri Harris very early on.  But have been crazy busy with real life lately and have not been able to meet up with her since the campaign started in earnest.  In place of a sit-down interview I was able to send her the following questions which she graciously answered and which you see below untouched by me.  In the interest of equal time, I’ll follow this with up for some questions (in lieu of an interview) with Tom Carper – although, let’s face it – I doubt Carper will reply.

Jason330:  With Under 30 days to go, are you where you thought you’d be about now?  

Yes, I always knew that if we stuck to the issues that mattered to the people we could inspire the electorate. There is still much work to do but we are ready and willing to do everything it takes to create lasting positive change in Delaware. I’m incredibly excited by our momentum. Going into this and never having run before, it was hard to picture what this would look like. But the enthusiasm, hard work, and dedication of our team and volunteers is so much more uplifting than I thought it would be. There are people giving the few hours they have, the few dollars they have to make this happen because they know change cannot wait. The number of new volunteers who come in every day is what moves me the most. We are truly people powered, and have a real shot at winning because of that.

Jason330: Tom Carper appears to be taking a sudden interest in the primary.  What do you make of his absurd claims to be a progressive democrat?

I try to focus on what we’re doing for the most part. I think his record speaks for itself and I encourage voters to look into his voting record. Voters know that the status quo hasn’t worked for them, and the policies of the past several decades have left them struggling. I am presenting solutions.

Jason330:  You got a boost when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off her big upset, but what other momentum building events have happened – maybe something that even the political junkies that read DL might have missed?

The press coverage has been a huge boost for us, and support sometimes comes from surprising places. Knocking doors and making calls, there are so many people now who say “Oh, I heard you on the Dig, or Young Turks!” That recognition helps a lot, especially running against a long-term incumbent. I was actually interviewed by Rob Sussman on 105.9 a few weeks ago, and that was a really good experience as well. We had a great conversation, and I think it really demonstrated that while people can be polar opposites politically, we can always find common ground. A self-described conservative Republican even called in to say that he liked what I had to say! That means a lot to me, because it shows that our divides can be healed when we put politics aside and focus on moving forward together and finding real solutions.

Another boost in momentum came from the support that Justice Democrats and Working Families Party have sent. Since the vast majority of our team are volunteers, it was huge to get some full-time people down here to help fill those gaps. We’re excited to have them as part of a really strong team.

The biggest boost comes each time a new volunteer signs up and takes the charge to make this campaign their own; we have so many people who are participating in a campaign for the the very first time. They understand the importance of this moment. They understand they will have the opportunity to add diversity in experience to the changes that come with my election. They understand that they and their families cannot wait any longer for changes that will uplift them and allow them to stand on their own two feet with dignity and without fear.


Jason330:  There are a couple of down-ticket primaries that DL readers think will help you out.  I know you can’t take sides, but can you talk a little about the other primaries and the dynamics the campaign is working with now?

One of the best things about running for office this year is to be among such great company. We are seeing a wave of progressive candidates stepping up and challenging how things are done in Delaware. Amazing candidates this year are running at every level because they truly CARE about the job–they aren’t running just because they want to run for something, they’re running because they want to address issues in their communities, and this is the best way they can achieve that.

One of the most important things we can do at all levels is to increase voter engagement and turnout. From talking to some of these other candidates, I know that we share that philosophy. We all make sure to canvass with voter registration forms so we can get people registered on the spot. We all try to talk to as many people as we can, regardless of whether they usually vote in primaries. Those are the people who have been left behind by the status quo, and who we all realize need to have a seat at the table. We need to be out there meeting people where they are. If we engage even one person who didn’t care before, it’s a win. If we increase turnout, it’s a big win. I’m hopeful that having so many primaries this year will do that, and I know we will carry on that work beyond this election. I hope that primaries become the norm in Delaware as it brings out the best in candidates.


Jason330:  I heard an interview in which you said something to the effect that you have to take a nuanced look at Carper’s record to see where he hurts Democrats and working people. I agree with that, but how do you make the case for nuance these days?  It seems like a tough task.


Too often these days, we paint issues as black and white and politicians as good or evil. I don’t believe in that. I genuinely believe that most people believe they are doing the right thing. However, when we fail to look at why people vote and act in certain ways, we miss the larger picture and we lose an opportunity to come together for the greater good. We need to not only look critically at tough issues, but develop bold solutions that address them.


Civic education and engagement is a big part of it. There has been a concerted effort throughout history to obstruct civic engagement and make it difficult for voters to understand the impacts of legislation. This lack of transparency makes it easy for politicians to look like they’re fighting for the people when in reality they are doing the exact opposite. S.2155, which rolled back important Dodd-Frank banking regulations, is a prime example of that.


Jason330:  As the primary gets closer and Carper looks increasingly nervous.  On the one hand Carper claims to be a progressive, but he has also trucked out that hoary old spin that Delawareans will reject a candidate that isn’t “moderate” and that you may have some trouble in the general. What’s been your response to that BS?  


From talking with people up and down the state, I KNOW that not to be true. No matter your politics, we all want the same things–affordable healthcare, a living wage, and the opportunity for our children to get a great education and have a better future. The status quo simply isn’t working for people, and that is something that we all recognize. I don’t think it’s radical to believe that in the wealthiest nation in the world, no one should be too poor to live. Here in Delaware there’s a narrative created by the establishment that being “moderate” means pandering to corporate interests while negotiating on the basic needs of our communities. That narrative goes out the window as soon as we give working people a voice and make sure they have a seat at the table. These aren’t “leftist” policies, they’re simply policies that put people first, and that’s something we can all unite around.


Jason330: It must feel like ten years since you started campaigning.  How have you changed? What’s different about the Kerri Harris of today and the Kerri Harris I met months ago?

Wow, this is a harder question to answer then I would have thought. There hasn’t much time for self reflection the last couple of months, in fact, sometimes it feels like an accomplishment to simply remember what day it is. But in all seriousness, I hear the fear and frustration in the voices of Delawarean after Delawarean, and yet see a last glimmer of hope in their eyes and actions; today more than ever, I am certain that I waited too long to run. I know now that the solutions being offered by this campaign resound with the people of Delaware and are unifying. There isn’t a day that goes by anymore that I am not uplifted by the spirit of the people, humbled to be worthy of their trust, and driven by their stories of perseverance in troubling times. I began this process knowing that it would be “an uphill battle” but I never let it sway my belief in the mission, which is to improve the lives of Delawareans and to inject hope in the political process. Most importantly, to allow the average Delawarean to know and hear their voice for the first time or once again after so long being muted. We all deserved to be heard and represented properly; Thursday, September 6th is the day we can begin to feel the difference.  


Jason330: If it isn’t already, this primary is going to be the next front line of the Corporate Democrats vs. People Powered Democrats struggle.  Are you ready for that? Do you sense a responsibility to a bigger progressive community?


Absolutely. This movement is bigger than any one campaign. As we’ve seen with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, the momentum is here for “the people’s candidates” to fight back against corporate interests. It will take time, but we are making huge strides every day and shifting the narrative across the nation. I always say “we’ll never outraise, but we’ll always outwork,” and I think that is what we have to keep doing.


Because Delaware is so small, it only takes 26,000 votes to win. We have an opportunity on September 6th to make history and set an example for the rest of the country. We can  show them that we have had enough and it’s time to put people over profits.


However, I also know that September 6th is just the beginning; following the primary I must continue to actively work to bring Delawareans back together. The best way I can do that is to stay true to my promise to always know what my non-negotiables are when considering legislation–people.


Jason330:  In addition to contributing – how can DL readers help you out over the next few weeks?  


In addition to donating, we need your time and energy to help us win. We need all hands on deck–whether you can knock doors, make calls, volunteer at events—every minute matters. Every call, every text, every door matters. Every letter to the editor matters. Every post you share on social media matters. Talk to your friends. Ask your local businesses if they’ll put up a sign. And most importantly, make sure you and everyone you know comes out to vote on Thursday, September 6th.


Together, WE can win!



About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (7)

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  1. RE Vanella says:

    Well done, bud.

  2. Don says:

    Nicely done Jason! Thanks for giving Kerri this visibility!

  3. jason330 says:

    Yes. I agree. My questions were great.

    But her answers were equally great. DONATE, DONATE, DONATE, money shoe leather, social media mentions, all appeare to be welcomed.

    Also – get your tickets for the debate.

  4. golden eye says:

    You ask her what she is going to do next after the primary is over?

  5. RE Vanella says:

    Win in November. Then go to the US Senate.

    (Bub, I don’t know what the result will be. Nobody does. I do know one thing. If you weren’t scared you wouldn’t be on here.)