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Oldest of '19 and counting' opens for Harris

Josh Duggar Josh Duggar

Warming up the crowd and introducing U.S. Senate candidate Mark Harris last week was Josh Duggar, the eldest child of the "19 and Counting" couple who star in a reality television series.


Duggar, 26, was appointed executive director of the Family Research Council, last year. The conservative organization has endorsed Harris, as has former Arkansas governor and radio host Mike Huckabee.
Josh DuggarJosh Duggar"In the 11th District Mark Meadows is a great friend of ours in Washington," Duggar said. "You guys have done a great job sending someone like him to serve there."
Duggar joked about his background.
"I started my own business in the automotive industry and ran it for six years — yes I was a used car dealer. But I've cleaned up my act now: I'm in politics. I'm not sure if I moved up or down."
When his dad, a state House member, ran for the U.S. Senate in Arkansas, the New York Times published a front-page photo of his mother and father walking into the polling place trailed by all 13 children — "back when we had a small family," Duggar said.
He lost.
"It was through that that I learned something. My dad's response was, 'You know what? Win or lose, we've done what God's called us to do.' He was willing to put himself out there. He was willing to take that risk, and ended up getting 22 percent of the vote."
Someone at Parents magazine saw it and called the family to do a story.
"My parents said, 'If you won't edit out our faith we'll allow you to share our story.' And they said, 'It's your story, you tell it.'"
Then a Discovery channel producer saw the Parents magazine story, and the cable network made a documentary, and in 2006 the family's ongoing story became a reality series on The Learning Channel, with more than 220 shows, called (at the moment) "19 and Counting."