Josh Harder

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Josh Harder
Josh Harder, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byJeff Denham
Personal details
Joshua Keck Harder

(1986-08-01) August 1, 1986 (age 34)
Turlock, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Pamela Sud
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 been serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 10th congressional district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he defeated Republican incumbent Jeff Denham in the 2018 election.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Harder was born in Turlock, California;[2][3] he graduated from Modesto High School.[4] He earned political science and economics undergraduate degrees from Stanford University, as well as a joint MBA/MPP from Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.[5][6]

Private career[edit]

In 2014, Harder was hired by Bessemer Venture Partners working in their New York office. He moved back to San Francisco and became a vice president with the company.[7] In 2017, he left his job at Bessemer to campaign full-time. Harder moved back to Turlock[8][9][10] and taught business at Modesto Junior College.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Harder has represented California's 10th congressional district since the 2018 congressional elections.

2018 election[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 previously represented the 19th district from 2011 to 2013.[12] As a result of California's top-two primary system, Denham and Harder advanced to the general election ballot, with Denham finishing first with 37.5% of the primary vote, and Harder finishing second with 16.7% of the primary vote.[13][14]

California's 10th district was included on the list of Republican-held seats being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2018.[15] On election night and for the days following the election, Denham held a lead in the reported results.[16] On November 9, Harder pulled ahead in the absentee ballot tallying.[17] Days later, news outlets projected Harder's victory,[18] and on November 14, Denham conceded.[19]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Harder and his wife, Pamela, met as undergraduate students at Stanford University. They were married in 2018.[20]

Election history[edit]

California's 10th congressional district election, 2018[21]
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


  1. ^ Michael R. Blood (November 13, 2018). "Democrat Harder ousts California GOP US Rep. Denham". Associated Press. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  2. ^ 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...
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Josh Harder — Tracy Press-Patterson Irrigator candidate questionnaire". Golden State Newspapers. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "About Josh". Josh Harder for Congress. Archived from the original on November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  7. ^ "Internal Affairs: Central Valley Rep. Jeff Denham gets a new challenger". The Mercury News. May 5, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "Denham calls opponent 'Bay Area Harder' — but he spends time and money at the coast, too". Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Palmeri, Christopher (October 9, 2018). "Can a Rural California Republican Survive the Midterms?". Bloomberg News. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Stapley, Garth (November 6, 2018). "CA election results: Denham winning against Harder". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Sarah D. Wire (May 3, 2017). "Central Valley's Jeff Denham gets new 2018 challenger".
  13. ^ "Harder readies to face Denham". Turlock Journal. June 8, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "California Election Results: 10th House District". New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Kelly, Meredith (May 22, 2017). "Charging Forward, DCCC Announces Battlefield Expansion" (PDF). DCCC Communications Director. Letter to Interested Parties.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ Blood, Michael R. "Democrats gain ground in California US House battles". AP via WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach, SC. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "Democrat Harder ousts California GOP US Rep. Denham". AP NEWS. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  19. ^ Eric Bradner. "Democrats pick up two more House seats as Denham, MacArthur concede". CNN. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Pamela Sud, Joshua Harder - The New York Times". The New York Times. August 12, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  21. ^ "2018 California primary election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 10, 2019.

External links[edit]

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

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jim Hagedorn
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jahana Hayes