According to our sister site Deadline, Edwards will play Mars Harper, President Kirkman’s likable and folksy chief of staff, who uses his genteel demeanor to impose his will. Having served many administrations in different capacities, Harper is respected by all political parties, and plans to bring discipline and organization to a West Wing that he believes lacks focus. He will clash with other members of President Kirkman’s staff, including campaign manager Lorraine Zimmer (played by new recurring player and Nurse Jackie alum Julie White).
President Kirkman’s previous chief of staff Emily was fired at the end of Season 2 for having an inappropriate ex parte conversation with the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice at a funeral. However, her portrayer Italia Ricci is expected to return for the upcoming season, along with original series stars Kiefer Sutherland, Kal Penn, Adan Canto and Maggie Q.
Edwards’ casting reunites the actor with ER showrunner Neal Baer, who is taking the Designated reins for Season 3. The cancelled ABC drama was rescued by Netflix in September and given a 10-episode order, which is slated to debut in 2019.