North Carolina 9th District set to pick new GOP candidate in do-over House race Tuesday


File photo: Republican Congressional candidate for North Carolina’s 9th district Mark Harris (C), addresses the crowd as President Donald Trump (L) listens at the Bojangles Coliseum on October 26, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

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Following a lengthy legal dispute and a call for a new election, voters in North Carolina’s 9th District are set Tuesday to pick the GOP nominee for an open House seat.

With 10 GOP candidates in the race, a runoff is possible should no single competitor get more than 30% of the vote.

The seat drew national attention in the wake of the midterm elections last year when allegations of fraud emerged following the close race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.

McCready is the only Democrat in the race and is due to face the winner of the 10-member Republican contest, which does not include Harris.

Harris initially appeared to be ahead of McCready by nearly 1,000 votes, but the state’s board of elections refused to certify the Republican as the winner. As investigations continued along with legal and logistical delays, the seat was left open when the new Congress began this year.

A woman testified in a February hearing that she picked up and falsified ballots at the direction of an operative working on Harris’ behalf. Harris said neither he nor his campaign leadership “were aware of or condoned the improper activities” from the hearing, and said a new election should be called.

The North Carolina Board of Elections voted to hold a new election, and Harris bowed out of the new race, citing health concerns.

North Carolina later laid out the timeline for the new election, which will feature a possible runoff for September 10 should no single candidate on Tuesday capture more that 30% of the vote. In the event of a runoff, the general election will be held on November 5, and without a GOP primary runoff, the general will be on September 10, the state announced.

According to the candidate list from the state board, the race also includes one Green Party and one Libertarian candidate. Tuesday’s primary contest will feature a wide field of Republicans, including a state senator and a county commissioner.

Former GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger, who Harris unseated in the GOP primary last year, will not be on the ballot.

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