Former elected official and business leader David Harrington dies at 68

Former Prince George’s County elected official and community leader David Harrington died this week at the age of 68. Photo courtesy of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce.

A former mayor, county official and state senator who became an advocate for the business community died Monday at the age of 68.

David Harrington has served as Mayor of Bradensburg (1995-2002), Prince George’s County Council Member (2002-2008) and State Senator (2008-2011).

He started in April in his new role as Senior Director of Community Relations and Stakeholder Development for Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Region.

One of his neighbors in Cheverly, former County Commissioner Rusern L. Baker III, had known Harrington since they met at Howard University in 1978.

“He was my first-year liberal arts student body president,” Baker said Tuesday. “He was speaking in our class, and I went to talk to him about the student council. He said, ‘You should run for sophomore class president,’ and I did that too. Then I became the liberal arts student council president.”

Harrington’s death touched Baker on multiple levels, as his wife, Christa Beverly Baker, died a year ago in September. January 18, 2021.

Harrington’s death led to several phone calls from peers, Baker said.

“I’ve had several calls from people of my generation doing health checks,” he said. “We have to make sure we call each other, especially African Americans, about our health.”

In health advocacy, Harrington served for about a year as a senior policy advisor at CommonHealth ACTION in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his public service work in the county, he is best known for more than 10 years as president and CEO of the County Chamber of Commerce.

Harrington restored the Chamber of Commerce and increased its membership to 600 large, medium and small businesses. He uses his political experience to advocate for state and local pro-business policies.

“David is loved, respected and admired throughout the region,” a statement from the chamber said. “At the time of his passing, the Chamber of Commerce shares his family, the community and businesses in Prince George’s County and the public at large. Our hearts are broken, but as an organization we will continue to deliver on its excellence, service, advocacy, policy advice, guidance and the mission of leadership.”

David Iannucci, president and CEO of the Prince George Economic Development Corporation, called Harrington a “relentless advocate” for economic development in the county.

“This loss is a huge shock to the business world,” Iannucci said. “He had a huge presence and will be greatly missed.”

Iannucci uses many words to describe Harrington, but he says one stands out: “mentor.”

Among his cadets are state senators. Malcolm Augustine (D-Prince George’s), who also lives in Cheverly.

“David was a great friend and mentor who served our community in many capacities,” Augustine said. “I am grateful for our friendship and his outstanding service. Senator. David C. Harrington will be missed, but never forgotten.”

U.S. Rep. Angela Al Brooks (D), Chief Executive of Prince George’s County, during a fundraiser Tuesday night. Anthony Brown (D) asked the crowd to observe a moment of silence for Harrington.

Brown praised Harrington’s dedication to his family and his political skills, saying he “helped raise [the Prince George’s chamber] Rise from the ashes. “

Founding editor Josh Kurtz contributed to this story.

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