Will Harris Run Again? The Lingering Question After An Explosive Hearing

Republican Mark Harris, left, and his attorney David Freedman leave after speaking with the media following a meeting with state election investigators on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019 at the Dobbs Building in Raleigh, N.C. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)
Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service

After four days of drama at the North Carolina Board of Elections hearing, a new race has been called for the 9th District amid credible accusations of voter fraud by McCrae Dowless, a campaign operative working for Republican Mark Harris.

And though Harris demanded a new election before storming out of the hearing Thursday, claiming that the election had been “tainted,” it is not at all clear that he’ll run again.

For one thing, he may not be uncontested. North Carolina law dictates fresh primaries along with a new election. Though nothing has been proven, the days of testimony proved damaging for Harris, especially when his son took the stand and proved that his father knew about Dowless’ illegal tactics and hired him anyway.

Charlotte WBT Radio’s Brett Jensen reported that Harris has not yet made up his mind.

Harris cited two strokes he had recently suffered as reasons why he had to end his testimony early.

According to Politico, some other Republican candidates are itching for the opportunity to replace the damaged Harris, including former Mecklenburg County commissioner Matthew Ridenhour and former Charlotte city council member Kenny Smith.

Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate in the original race, has already started fundraising off the hearing drama and is clearly gearing up for the new contest.

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