A former trade union official, Harte was first elected to the 13th Seanad in the 1973 Seanad elections, on the Labour Panel. He was re-elected six times until his retirement at the 1992 elections.
He served with the British Army in Malta and the Middle East during World War II. He published his memoirs of the Second World War, "To the Limits of Endurance: One Irishman's War". In 2015, he died at the age of 94.