Rep. David Harris was raised in the district in Mount Prospect, and he and his wife Michelle have lived in Arlington Heights for 35 years. They have two sons, both of whom, like Harris, are graduates of St. Viator High School. The older son is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY, and served two deployment tours on active duty; he is now employed in the civilian sector with a major travel services firm. The younger son graduated from Northwestern University where he played on the school's Division 1 soccer team; he is employed with a major automobile company.
Harris is a recognized leader in the area, having previously served in the House of Representatives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He left public service to take the position as the Senior Vice President of the Illinois Hospital Association, which is the trade association representing nearly 200 hospitals in Illinois.
Throughout his career, Harris proudly continued his military service as a member of the National Guard. And he returned to public service in 1999 to become The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard. As the officer in charge of all military and civilian operations of the Illinois National Guard, both Army and Air, Harris oversaw 13,500 men and women in uniform and 500 civilian personnel. He had the responsibility to ensure that the units of the National Guard were properly trained, equipped and ready to perform their state and federal missions. He led the Illinois National Guard through the difficult period after 9/11 and mobilized numerous Army and Air units for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
In 2003, Harris retired from military service after 33 years with the rank of Major General.
Shortly after that he accepted a position with the US Department of State as the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO). IRMO was the State Department organization responsible for the oversight of $18.4 billion appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq. Harris spent 14 months in Iraq during the height of the insurrection there.
When he returned from Iraq, General Harris became the Military Analyst for WGN-TV in Chicago. He would regularly appear on the WGN Morning News program, as well as other network time slots, to provide insight and analysis on news items related to military matters. He served in this capacity until February of this year when he became the Republican candidate for State Representative.
Major General Harris is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. His professional military education includes the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College in residence, Military Police Officer courses, and training and leadership seminars at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA.
Entering military service in 1970, General Harris served in uniform for 33 years. He earned his commission through Officer Candidate School, U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, and he was inducted into the Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in May 2002.
General Harris' civic affiliations include service as a Member of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. He is also a Life Member of the Association of the U.S. Army, a Life Member of both the National Guard Association of the U.S. and the National Guard Association of Illinois, and a Life Member of the Military Officers Association of America.