Democrat McCready Takes Back Concession in Disputed NC Congressional Race

December 7, 2018

By Ely Portillo and Tim Funk

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dan McCready, the Democrat running for Congress in North Carolina’s disputed 9th District, has renounced his concession.

His announcement Thursday came amid allegations of absentee ballot tampering and other interference in Bladen and Robeson counties that appear to have helped Republican Mark Harris, who is ahead by just 905 votes in unofficial returns.

The controversy has raised the possibility that the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement will call a new election. McCready issued a forceful statement Thursday, calling on Harris to detail his knowledge of suspect activities on behalf of his campaign.

“I didn’t serve overseas in the Marines just to come home to N.C. and watch a criminal, bankrolled by my opponent, take away people’s very right to vote,” McCready said. “Today I withdraw my concession and call on Mark Harris to end his silence and tell us exactly what he knew, and when.”

McCready conceded the race the day after the Nov. 6 election and did not ask for the recount he was entitled to in such a close election.

But last week, questions began about the absentee ballots in Bladen and neighboring Robeson County. The state elections board refused to certify the results, citing “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee mail ballots,” according to Joshua Malcolm, who was bumped from the board’s vice chair to its chairman by Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, on Monday.

A political operative named McCrae Dowless has emerged as the focus of allegations that he led a network of people who collected absentee-by-mail ballots en masse, which is forbidden under North Carolina law. The state Board of Elections and the Wake County district attorney have launched investigations.

Until Thursday, McCready had been mostly quiet, calling the allegations in Bladen “troubling.” Other North Carolina Democrats as well as Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have called for a thorough investigation of the allegations and even a new election that could again pit McCready against Harris and Libertarian Jeff Scott.

Since the election, Harris has spent time in Washington attending orientation events for incoming freshman members of Congress. But U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who will become House majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January, has said Democrats will refuse to seat Harris unless and until “substantial” questions about the integrity of the election are resolved.

The state elections board has twice declined to certify Harris’ victory and plans to hold an evidentiary hearing in the case this month.

Top state Republican officials said Thursday they could support a new election in the 9th Congressional District only if the board uncovers “an overwhelming amount of evidence” that fraud changed the outcome of the vote or that “there is a substantial likelihood that it could have been (changed).”

The 9th Congressional District has been represented by a Republican in Washington for more than five decades. But Democrats believed they had a good change to flip it with McCready, who ran as a centrist, touting “country over party” and pledging not to vote for Democrat Nancy Pelosi as the next speaker.

In the election, McCready carried six of the eight counties in the district, including Mecklenburg. Harris, a Southern Baptist minister who had defeated U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., in the GOP primary, carried Union and Bladen counties.

———

©2018 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

Visit The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) at www.charlotteobserver.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Voting

North Carolina Lawmakers Open Door to Qualifying More Voter IDs for 2020 Voting
North Carolina Lawmakers Open Door to Qualifying More Voter IDs for 2020
April 15, 2019
by Dan McCue

A bill filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives last week would ease some standards that identification cards issued by state colleges, universities and other institutions have to meet before they can be used as photo Voter ID in the 2020 elections. The legislation, which... Read More

California Launched DMV Voter Registration System Despite Bugs and Hackers Voting
California Launched DMV Voter Registration System Despite Bugs and Hackers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has launched few government projects with higher stakes than its ambitious 2018 program for registering millions of new voters at the Department of Motor Vehicles, an effort with the potential to shape elections for years to come. Yet six days before the... Read More

New Poll Highlights Key Role Women of Color Played in 2018 Election Voting
New Poll Highlights Key Role Women of Color Played in 2018 Election
April 4, 2019
by Dan McCue

Black, Latina, Asian-American and Pacific Islander women voted in historic numbers in 2018, inspired by issues they felt made it impossible for them to sit on the sidelines, a new poll says. The data was collected by Intersections of Our Lives, a collaborative of three reproductive... Read More

For Independent Voters, California Lawmakers Seek to End Ballot Confusion State Elections
For Independent Voters, California Lawmakers Seek to End Ballot Confusion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In the days leading up to California’s primary three years ago, the complaints from unaffiliated independent voters started pouring in. They were promised they could vote in the closely watched Democratic race for the White House, but were handed a ballot without any... Read More

House Launches Inquiry of Texas’ Botched Voter Purge Voting
House Launches Inquiry of Texas’ Botched Voter Purge

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House oversight committee has launched a probe of Texas’ botched attempt to purge its voter rolls. “We are disturbed by reports that your office has taken steps to remove thousands of eligible American voters from the rolls in Texas and that you... Read More

The Russia Investigation Is Over; Russian Meddling In Elections Isn’t Elections
The Russia Investigation Is Over; Russian Meddling In Elections Isn’t

WASHINGTON — When Robert S. Mueller III turns off the lights in the special counsel’s office for the final time, he will leave behind an exhaustive blueprint of how Moscow meddled in the last presidential election, one pieced together from electronic blueprints, sensitive communications intercepts and... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top