David Harrington, former official and business leader, died at the age of 68

David Harrington, a former elected official and community leader in Prince George’s County, has died 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 later became an advocate for the business community died Monday at age 68.

David Harrington served as Mayor of Bladensburg (1995 to 2002), Prince George’s County Councilman (2002 to 2008), and State Senator (2008 to 2011).

He started a new role in April as senior director of community relations and stakeholder development for Kaiser Permanente in the Mid-Atlantic region.

One of his neighbors in Cheverly, former county executive Rusher L. Baker III had known Harrington since they met at Howard University in 1978.

“He was a liberal arts student council freshman in college,” Baker said Tuesday. “He spoke to our class and I went to talk to him about student administration. He said, ‘You should run for class president,’ and I did. I later became president of the liberal arts student council.

Harrington’s death affected Baker on several levels because his wife, Krista Beverly Baker, died a year ago on September 18, 2021.

Baker said Harrington’s death prompted several phone calls from peers.

“I have received many calls from people of our generation to do health checks,” he said. “We need to make sure we call each other, especially African American men, about our health.”

From a health advocacy perspective, Harrington worked for a year as a senior policy advisor for CommonHealth ACTION in Washington, DC.

In addition to his public service work in the county, he is known for serving as president and CEO of the county chamber of commerce for more than 10 years.

Harrington reinvented the chamber and grew its membership to 600 large, medium and small businesses. He used his political experience to advocate for state and local trade policies.

“David was loved, respected and admired throughout the region,” a statement from the chamber said. “The Chamber shares the grief of the family, community and businesses of Prince George’s County as well as the public in his passing. We are heartbroken, but as an organization we continue to honor its mission of excellence, service, advocacy, policy advisory, mentoring and leadership.

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

“This loss is coming as a great shock to the business community,” Iannucci said. “He had a great presence that will be greatly missed.”

Iannucci used many words to describe Harington, but one that stood out was “mentor.”

Among the patrons is state Sen. Malcolm Augustine (D-Prince George), who lives in Cheverly.

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

At a fundraiser for Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) Tuesday evening, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (D) asked the crowd to observe a moment of silence in Harrington’s honor.

Brown praised Harrington for his dedication to his family and his political acumen, saying he “helped get him up.” [the Prince George’s chamber] From the Ashes”

Founding editor Josh Kurtz contributed to this story.

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