John L. Harmer

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John L. Harmer
Born (1934-04-28) April 28, 1934 (age 85)
EducationUniversity of Utah
George Washington University
OccupationCalifornia State Senator, attorney
Spouse(s)Carolyn Jonas (1960–2015)[1]

John L. Harmer (born April 28, 1934) is a former California politician who served in the California State Senate as a Republican from 1966 to 1974. Harmer served as the Lieutenant Governor of California from 1974 to 1975. He is also the founder of the Lighted Candle Society and the author of several books. Harmer is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Early life[edit]

John L. Harmer was born in 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah.[2] His parents were Earl W. Harmer and Mabel Spande. He was one of their five children.[3] Harmer attended the University of Utah. While there, Harmer was part of the Frosh Handbook committee in 1954, that helped inform new freshmen about college life at the university. They made sure freshmen were aware of school events and activities.[4]:45 He was involved with debate, and was an intramural debate finalist in 1954.[4]:51 Harmer was part of the Phi Eta Epsilon fraternity.[5]:261 He was also one of the school's Vigilantes. These vigilantes were campus policemen who played roles in student government. They were also responsible for being judges for school elections.[5]:272

Harmer later obtained a law degree from George Washington University.[6] Harmer was involved with the student court, serving as the Chief Justice of the student court in 1959.[7] He married Carolyn Jonas on June 24, 1960, in the Los Angeles Temple and the couple had 10 children. Harmer is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[1][8] Throughout his life, Harmer has been interested in astronomy.[9]


Republican Party[edit]

Harmer is a member of the Republican Party. He first entered politics by participating in Dwight D. Eisenhower's political campaign in 1952.[10] He was later an aide to U.S. Senator Wallace Bennett hired through the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management. After, Harmer worked as an attorney in Glendale, California.[11] Before his election as a state senator, Harmer was also the director of public affairs with the National Association of Manufactures; he also worked for the Americans for Constitutional Action as a field representative.[10] In 1966, Harmer was a member of the Republican State Central Committee, State Central Committee, United Republicans of California, as well as being part of California Republican Associates, Young Republicans, and Republican Associates. By this time, he had also founded the San Fernando Valley Business and Professional Association.[10]

California State Senate[edit]

Harmer was a California politician who served in the California State Senate as a Republican from 1966 to 1974.[2] During his time in the senate, he authored SB 462, along with Anthony Beilenson, Alan Short, and Lewis F. Sherman. This act pertained to abortion. Harmer ran for attorney general in 1970 and lost. He resigned from the California State Senate in 1974, and ran again in 1976, but lost.[2]

He went on to serve briefly as the 40th Lieutenant Governor of California from 1974 to 1975,[2] after the resignation of Edwin Reinecke on October 4, 1974[12] due to being convicted of perjury.[13] Departing Governor Ronald Reagan appointed him to the post.[9] He only served for three months to cover the rest of Reinecke's term.[8] Harmer was referred to, however, as "one of the legislature's most conservative members."[8]

While living in California, Harmer was a regent of the University of California. He also served as a trustee of the California State University System and was a chairman for the Legislature Select Committee on Large Urban School Districts.[14]

Other contributions[edit]

He and his family moved to Bountiful, Utah in 1980 and later moved to Lindon, Utah. In Utah, Harmer was appointed the chairman of the National Center for Constitutional Studies. He also worked as a private attorney. He fought to eliminate indecency on cable television programs. In 1988, he was appointed chairman of Eyring, Inc.[14]

In 1999, Harmer traveled to Moscow, Russia as an attorney and was briefed in the U.S. Embassy on the Soviet Union's plans to use germ warfare against the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s. This experience influenced him to write the book Ere His Floods of Anger Flow.[9]

Harmer became vice president of Geely-USA, the American Division of the Chinese car maker Geely that along with Chery is one of the first Chinese automobile manufacturers to export to North American shores.[15] Harmer founded the Lighted Candle Society in 2001.[2] He served as chairman of the Lighted Candle Society an organization opposed to pornography, and has filed briefs with the United States Supreme Court against pornography.[16]

Harmer is the author of several books including We Dare Not Fail (1968), Among the Living Are the Dead (1970), and The Sex Industrial Complex (2007).[2] He also wrote Reagan: Man of Principle.[17]


  1. ^ a b Rodda, Richard (August 9, 2015). "Carolyn Harmer". Deseret News. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "John L. Harmer". Join California. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "Death: Mabel Spande Harmer". Deseret News. August 4, 1992.
  4. ^ a b "1954 Utonian". University of Utah. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  5. ^ a b 1955 Utonian. University of Utah. 1955. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "Seven Candidates Seek Nominations for Attorney General". The Fresno Bee The Republican. May 17, 1970. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  7. ^ 1959 Utonian. University of Utah. 1959. p. 19. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Reagan Appoints Harmer; Dymally Calls It Brazen". Daily Independent Journal. October 4, 1974. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Arts & Entertainment". Meridian. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "21st Senatorial District: John L. Harmer". Valley News. May 24, 1966. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  11. ^ "State Senate" 21st District Republican". The Van Nuys News. May 25, 1972. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "Glossary of Legislative Terms" (PDF). 2011 California Legislature. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  13. ^ "Ed Reinecke Should Quit – Harmer". Daily Independent Journal. August 21, 1974. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Harmer, John L." Our Candidates. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  15. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (January 10, 2006). "See the U.S.A. in Your New Car From China, Starting in '07". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "Welcome to the Lighted Candle Society". The Lighted Candle Society. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Amazon ad for Harmer's book

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Edwin Reinecke
Lieutenant Governor of California
Succeeded by
Mervyn M. Dymally