GOP challenger launches bid against Rep. Josh Harder

The NRCC has targeted Harder’s 9th District as vulnerable, and Brett Dood is the first Republican to launch a campaign.

The first Republican challenger for Rep. Josh Harder (D–Tracy) has announced his candidacy for Congress. 

Ripon pastor Brett Dood launched his campaign to unseat Harder and flip the 9th Congressional District to Republican on Tuesday. 


The big picture: Dood launched his campaign with the message of getting America back on track. 

  • His campaign website lists his policy platform and includes rolling back “liberal-left ideology.” 
  • That includes holding back federal funding for colleges that only focus on left wing ideology and ensuring that only biological women compete in women’s sports. 

Driving the news: Harder is viewed by the National Republican Congressional Committee as vulnerable as the 9th district has been placed on its official target list to flip. 

  • District 9 is centered on Stockton and includes Tracy, Manteca and Lodi as well Ripon. 

State of play: Last year Harder defeated San Joaquin Supervisor Tom Patti by nearly 10 points for the open 9th district. 

  • Harder was first elected in 2018 to the former 10th district when he unseated Republican Jeff Denham. 
  • While Democrats hold a 43.5 percent to 28.4 percent lead in voter registration over Republicans, Republican State Sen. Brian Dahle actually outperformed Gov. Gavin Newsom in the gubernatorial race last year in the district despite Harder’s victory. 

What they’re saying: In his announcement, Dood said he is frustrated with the antics in Washington D.C. while California families are struggling. 

  • “We elect the same career politicians but expect different results,” Dood said. “We don’t need another politician, we need a proven public servant.” 
  • Dood added, “I believe the country can change if we elect principled leaders who will speak the truth, support real reforms like term limits, and put people over political parties. As a pastor, I am always listening and helping others. As your next Congressman, I will listen, fight for California families, and defend the values that matter most to our communities.”
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