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Josh Harder

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Josh Harder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byJeff Denham
Constituency10th district (2019–2023)
9th district (2023–present)
Personal details
Joshua Keck Harder

(1986-08-01) August 1, 1986 (age 37)
Turlock, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Pamela Sud
(m. 2018)
Residence(s)Tracy, California, U.S.
EducationStanford University (BA)
Harvard University (MBA, MPP)
WebsiteHouse website

Joshua Keck Harder (born August 1, 1986) is an American politician and venture capital investor who has served as the U.S. representative from California's 9th congressional district since 2019 (known as the 10th congressional district until 2023). A member of the Democratic Party, he defeated Republican incumbent Jeff Denham in the 2018 election by five points.[1] In 2020, he was reelected by a significantly larger margin than in 2018.[2] He won reelection to California's new 9th congressional district, created through the 2020 redistricting process, which includes the majority of San Joaquin County.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Harder was born in Turlock, California,[4][5] and graduated from Modesto High School.[6] He earned political science and economics undergraduate degrees from Stanford University and a joint MBA/MPP from Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.[7][8]

Private career[edit]

In 2014, Bessemer Venture Partners hired Harder in its New York office. He moved back to San Francisco and became a vice president of the company.[9] In 2017, Harder left Bessemer to campaign full-time. He moved back to Turlock[10][11][12] and taught business at Modesto Junior College.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



In May 2017, Harder announced his candidacy, joining three other Democrats to challenge Republican Jeff Denham, who had represented the 10th district since 2013 and represented the 19th district from 2011 to 2013.[14] As a result of California's top-two primary system, Denham and Harder advanced to the general election, with Denham taking 37.5% of the primary vote and Harder 16.7%.[15][16]

California's 10th district was included on the list of Republican-held seats being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2018.[17] On election night and for days after the election, Denham led in the reported results.[18] On November 9, Harder pulled ahead as absentee ballots were counted.[19] Days later, news outlets projected Harder's victory,[20] and on November 14, Denham conceded.[21]


Harder ran for reelection in 2020, finishing first in the top-two open primary with 44% of the vote. He bested Republican opponents Ted Howze and Bob Elliott. Harder and Howze advanced to the general election on November 3, which Harder won with 55.2% of the vote to Howze's 44.8%.[22] In 2020, former president Barack Obama endorsed Harder.[23]


Following redistricting, Harder defeated San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti, a Republican, with 56% of the vote in California's 9th Congressional district.[24]


Harder has represented California's 10th congressional district since 2019.

After Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, Harder received hate mail intended for Josh Hawley, a United States senator with a similar name who objected to certifying Joe Biden's electoral college victory.[25]

Harder voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis. This results in a Biden Plus/Minus score of +32.2 indicating significantly more support for Biden's priorities than would be expected given the makeup of his district.[26]

Committee assignments[edit]

For the 118th Congress:[27]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]


As of 2019, Harder had a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his abortion-related voting record.[30] He opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade.[31]

Delta Tunnels[edit]

In February 2023, Harder introduced a new bill called the Stop the Delta Tunnels Act, that would forbid the Secretary of Army from issuing a permit related to the project, effectively stopping all federal support for the Delta Conveyance Project.[32] In May 2023, Harder criticized California Governor Newsom's plan to fast-track projects, including the Delta Tunnel project, which Harder had opposed for five years, citing that that project could negatively impact the ecosystem of the Delta in the San Joaquin Valley and affect fishery and agriculture industries.[33]


Harder opposes defunding the police and has said that he wants to rebuild trust between the public and police. He voted for a police reform bill that would ban chokeholds and establish a policy for use of force that would be standard around the country.[34] In 2023, he introduced a bill to create a grant program that would allow smaller police departments to recruit and retain more officers.[35]

Electoral history[edit]

California's 10th congressional district election, 2018[36]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Denham (incumbent) 45,719 37.5
Democratic Josh Harder 20,742 17.0
Republican Ted D. Howze 17,723 14.6
Democratic Michael Eggman 12,446 10.2
Democratic Virginia Madueño 11,178 9.2
Democratic Sue Zwahlen 9,945 8.2
Democratic Michael J. "Mike" Barkley 2,904 2.4
Democratic Dotty Nygard (withdrawn) 1,100 0.9
Total votes 121,757 100.0
General election
Democratic Josh Harder 115,945 52.3
Republican Jeff Denham (incumbent) 105,955 47.7
Total votes 221,900 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
California's 10th congressional district election, 2020[37][38]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Harder (incumbent) 69,668 44.1
Republican Ted Howze 53,574 33.9
Republican Bob Elliott 20,481 13.0
Democratic Michael J. "Mike" Barkley 5,561 3.5
Republican Marla Sousa Livengood 5,270 3.3
Democratic Ryan Blevins 3,536 2.2
Total votes 158,090 100.0
General election
Democratic Josh Harder (incumbent) 166,865 55.2
Republican Ted Howze 135,629 44.8
Total votes 302,494 100.0
Democratic hold
California's 9th congressional district, 2022[37]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Harder (incumbent) 39,026 36.7
Republican Tom Patti 30,843 29.0
Republican Jim Shoemaker 15,443 14.5
Democratic Harpreet Chima 8,433 7.9
Republican Jonathan Madison 5,992 5.6
Democratic Khalid Jafri 3,174 3.0
Democratic Karena Feng 2,632 2.5
No party preference Mark Andrews 758 0.7
Total votes 106,301 100.0
General election
Democratic Josh Harder (incumbent) 95,598 54.8
Republican Tom Patti 78,802 45.2
Total votes 174,400 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life[edit]

Harder and his wife Pamela met as undergraduate students at Stanford University. They were married at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Virginia in 2018.[39]

Harder and his wife announced they had a baby girl on March 9, 2022.[40]


  1. ^ Michael R. Blood (November 13, 2018). "Democrat Harder ousts California GOP US Rep. Denham". Associated Press. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "California Election Results: 10th Congressional District". The New York Times. November 3, 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "Josh Harder announces reelection campaign for Jerry McNerney's seat in 9th District seat". January 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Stapley, Garth (August 1, 2018). "Support from two U.S. presidents figures in Denham, Harder race". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 15, 2018. Harder, who turned 32 Wednesday...
  5. ^ "Central Valley Democrats fighting to unseat Republican Jeff Denham spar over local ties". The Mercury News. May 31, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018. Despite the fact that he was born in and grew up in Turlock, Harder's rivals are attacking him as a carpetbagger and Bay Area outsider.
  6. ^ "Josh Harder — Tracy Press-Patterson Irrigator candidate questionnaire". Golden State Newspapers. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Schleifer, Theodore (September 20, 2018). "A venture capitalist is running for Congress in farm country. And his opponent is turning those Silicon Valley years into an insult". Recode. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "About Josh". Josh Harder for Congress. Archived from the original on November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  9. ^ "Internal Affairs: Central Valley Rep. Jeff Denham gets a new challenger". The Mercury News. May 5, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Denham calls opponent 'Bay Area Harder' — but he spends time and money at the coast, too". Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Merica, Dan (May 30, 2018). "A beekeeper and a venture capitalist are among candidates facing off to turn this California district blue". CNN. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  12. ^ Palmeri, Christopher (October 9, 2018). "Can a Rural California Republican Survive the Midterms?". Bloomberg News. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Stapley, Garth (November 6, 2018). "CA election results: Denham winning against Harder". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Sarah D. Wire (May 3, 2017). "Central Valley's Jeff Denham gets new 2018 challenger".
  15. ^ "Harder readies to face Denham". Turlock Journal. June 8, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "California Election Results: 10th House District". New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  17. ^ Kelly, Meredith (May 22, 2017). "Charging Forward, DCCC Announces Battlefield Expansion" (PDF). DCCC Communications Director. Letter to Interested Parties.
  18. ^ "Josh Harder is in a dead heat in his congressional race to become the only venture capitalist in the House of Representatives". Recode. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  19. ^ Blood, Michael R. "Democrats gain ground in California US House battles". www.wmbfnews.com. AP via WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach, SC. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  20. ^ "Democrat Harder ousts California GOP US Rep. Denham". AP NEWS. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  21. ^ Eric Bradner. "Democrats pick up two more House seats as Denham, MacArthur concede". CNN. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "California Results - US Election 2020". BBC News. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  23. ^ "First Wave of 2020 Endorsements". September 25, 2020.
  24. ^ Mehta, Seema (November 15, 2022). "Democratic Rep. Josh Harder defeats GOP challenger in Central Valley district". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  25. ^ "California Rep. Josh Harder faces anger intended for Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley". Los Angeles Times. February 6, 2021.
  26. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  27. ^ "Josh Harder". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  28. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  29. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  30. ^ "Candidate Profile for Josh Harder". iVoter Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  31. ^ Harder, Josh (June 24, 2022). Twitter https://twitter.com/RepJoshHarder/status/1540345711769927680. Retrieved June 26, 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Johnson, Brittany (September 19, 2022). "Central Valley congressman introducing legislation to prevent Delta Tunnel project from gaining ground". KCRA.com. Hearst Television Inc. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  33. ^ Hagerty, Mike. "Delta Tunnel plan touted by Newsom gets push-back from Congress member". capradio.org. NPR. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  34. ^ "Election 2020: Everything you need to know about Congressman Josh Harder". abc10.com. October 15, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  35. ^ "Harder Pushes For Local Law Enforcement Funding". Escalon Times. May 16, 2023. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  36. ^ "2018 California primary election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  37. ^ a b "STATEMENT OF VOTE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION MARCH 3, 2020" (PDF). California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  38. ^ "U.S. House of Representatives Results of All Districts". California Secretary of State. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  39. ^ "Pamela Sud, Joshua Harder - The New York Times". The New York Times. August 12, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  40. ^ Harder, Josh. "Pam and I are overjoyed to welcome our baby daughter, Lillian Gale Harder". Twitter.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 9th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by