David Harmer

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David Harmer
Born (1962-05-28) May 28, 1962 (age 54)
Glendale, California
Residence San Ramon, California
Alma mater Brigham Young University (B.A. & J.D.)[1]
Occupation Attorney
Religion Mormon
Website harmerforcongress.com

David Harmer (born May 28, 1962)[2] is an American attorney from San Ramon, California. In 2010 Harmer ran for election to the United States House of Representatives from California's 11th Congressional District. Harmer became his party's nominee after winning a four-way race in the Republican primary,[3] but ultimately lost to the Democratic incumbent in the tightest congressional race in California that year.[citation needed]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Born in Glendale, California, as the oldest of ten children, David Harmer is the son of John L. Harmer the former Lieutenant Governor of California under then Governor Ronald Reagan and Carolyn Jonas Harmer, a homemaker and English teacher.[1] He served two terms as student body president at Oakmont High School in Roseville, California, from which he graduated in 1979. Thereafter, he attended Brigham Young University, interrupting his studies to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina from 1981 to 1983. He received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in December, 1984, majoring in English. He graduated from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1988.[2]

In 1988–89, Harmer worked as counsel to a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; he was appointed by Senator Orrin Hatch.[1]

Harmer was sworn in as a member of the State Bar of California on November 22, 1989 (State Bar No. 141892).[citation needed], and that same year returned to California to work as a fellow at the College of Public Law at the non-profit Pacific Legal Foundation, where he worked in P.L.F.'s environmental law section.

Harmer began working at the law firm O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles in October, 1990, a firm he had clerked for while in law school.[1]

In 1994, Harmer returned to his Utah roots, where he managed the congressional campaign of Enid Greene Waldholtz. That campaign was victorious, and from 1995 to 1996 he served as chief of staff to U.S. Representative Enid Greene Waldholtz.[citation needed]

Congressional campaigns[edit]


Harmer unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Utah's 2nd District to replace U.S. Congresswoman Enid Greene Waldholtz.


Harmer lost the election to Democrat John Garamendi by a vote of 53% to 43%.[4]


Harmer lost the election to incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney by a vote of 49% to 46.8%.[5]

The general election was close enough that the result was not immediately known, pending a definitive count to include all absentee ballots. On November 24, the Associated Press reported that McNerney had defeated Harmer, with McNerney holding a lead of nearly 2,500 votes with fewer than 1,900 votes left to be counted, but Harmer delayed conceding so that every vote could be counted.[6] Harmer conceded the election on December 4, 2010.[citation needed]


In 1994 Harmer authored the book School choice: why you need it — how you get it published by the Cato Institute.[7] One of Harmer's op-ed articles on school choice, titled "Abolish the Public Schools", stated that the government should "exit the business of running and funding schools." [8]

Personal life[edit]

Harmer's wife Elayne Harmer is a native of Argentina and is a substitute teacher in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. They and their four children live in San Ramon, California where his children attend public schools.[9]


External links[edit]