Saratoga County

Saratoga prosecutor eyes Congress run

First Assistant District Attorney David A. Harper has resigned from his post to explore a run for


First Assistant District Attorney David A. Harper has resigned from his post to explore a run for Congress.

Harper is one of three Republicans who have announced their interest in facing U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, in November.

Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec and Patrick Ziegler of Ballston also have said they are considering a run. Saratoga County Republican Chairman John “Jasper” Nolan said a fourth man, from Columbia County, is waiting for his retirement from the U.S. military to be official before he announces his intentions.

Nolan said he hopes to organize a meeting of the chairmen of the 10 counties in the 20th district on Wednesday at the end of a previously scheduled meeting of the state Republican Committee.

“We’ve got to set up a procedure to interview these four individuals and find out what their positions are on the issues that we face as a congressional district,” Nolan said.

Harper, 56, of Saratoga Springs, announced his resignation and intentions to run on Tuesday. He said he resigned because it would be improper to solicit campaign funds while being a prosecutor.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Harper said Tuesday. “In our current climate, the dysfunction that’s going on in Washington D.C., plus the huge deficits that are being racked up … are harming the economy.”

Harper has worked for 22 years in the Saratoga County District Attorney’s office and has had a private law practice for 25 years. He could not be politically active while in the district attorney’s office, he said.

District Attorney James A. Murphy III accepted Harper’s resignation Tuesday.

“He has done an excellent job working with me over these many years as a colleague and then as my first assistant,” Murphy said.

Harper was born in Newport, R.I., and grew up in Troy, where his mother worked for the Emma Willard School. For a time, the family lived on campus.

“She had the good sense to send me away to boarding school so I wouldn’t be there when the girls were there,” Harper joked.

He got his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and spent four years in the Army before getting his law degree from Albany Law School and moving to Saratoga County.

Harper and his wife, Debbie, have five grown children between the ages of 25 and 32.

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