Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate in the North Carolina 9th District election, put the blame for the alleged absentee ballot plot squarely on Republican Mark Harris’ shoulders, saying Monday that Harris created a “culture of corruption” on his campaign.
“He built a culture of corruption on his campaign that represents the very worst of our politics,” McCready told CNN’s Brianna Keilar, segueing into his own experience being a platoon leader in the Marines as a “the buck stops here” type anecdote.
“In my campaign I tried the best I could to build a culture of integrity and integrity is one of our values,” he added. “What we saw here was a culture of corruption that went all the way to the top and who is suffering the consequences of that are the voters right now who have no representation.”
McCrae Dowless, a campaign operative for Harris, seems to have led a scheme where his employees allegedly illegally collected and altered absentee ballots, a crime that could have tipped the extremely close election.
Harris claims ignorance, though his son John laid out a damning paper trail of communication showing that Mark Harris was warned multiple times about Dowless’ tactics and hired him anyway.
McCready announced that he’d be running again immediately after the Board of Elections called for a new election. McCready and his team are still mulling a challenge to the part of North Carolina state law that dictates that new primaries accompany the fresh election.
Harris has not yet decided if he will run again. He stormed out of last week’s hearings after claiming that tainted evidence and his own poor health made the proceedings untenable and calling for a new election.