open-seat

Previously unseen messages from Harris roil North Carolina House race hearing
Mark Harris said he believed Dowless over his own son about absentee ballot program

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he believed operative Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. over the warnings of his own son. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

The fourth day of hearings into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District started with a potential evidentiary bombshell that roiled the proceedings and could extend them beyond this week.

Attorneys for Republican nominee Mark Harris’ campaign committee turned over a new message Wednesday night to the North Carolina State Board of Elections that had not been previously submitted. In the message, Harris asks for an introduction to Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., the operative who orchestrated the collection of absentee ballots.

Mark Harris’ son warned him about Dowless illegally collecting ballots in North Carolina race
Testimony by John Harris contradicts earlier interviews his father gave about GOP operative

The son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father about hiring an operative whom he believed ran an illegal ballot operation scheme. Above, Harris, center, campaigns with President Donald Trump and Rep. Ted Budd in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 26, 2018. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

In remarkable testimony Wednesday afternoon, the son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he warned his father about Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. illegally collecting ballots before Harris hired him. 

John Harris, the son of the Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 9th District, told his father that collecting ballots was illegal and offered to send his father the statute proving that. 

House could have final say on new elections in N.C. election fraud case
Local elections board could deadlock after monthslong investigation, leaving House with final authority

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said Friday he would support a new election in the 9th District if illegal activity is found to have changed the results. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP file photo)

The North Carolina State Board of Elections will decide this week whether it will certify results of a 2018 midterm election result in the 9th District, which has been thrown into question after investigators found absentee ballot “irregularities.”

If the five-member board deadlocks, the U.S. House will decide if it will seat Mark Harris, the GOP candidate and former Baptist minister who holds an unofficial 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready.

There’s at least one special election coming to North Carolina soon
Death of Rep. Walter Jones opens up a reliably red seat

The death of North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones opens up a seat in a Republican area that's used to being represented by a Jones in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The death of North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones over the weekend opens up a safe Republican seat on the state’s east coast.

The governor must call a special election for the 3rd District. But there is no statutory time frame, so the timing will be up to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. 

After narrow victory in 2018, Rep. Rob Woodall won’t run in 2020
Woodall barely prevailed in Georgia 7th District recount last fall

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall recently lost his father, which he said was a consideration in his decision not to run again. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall barely survived 2018, and he’s decided not to try again in 2020. 

The 7th District Republican told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday he will not seek a sixth term.  

McCready began 2019 with nearly 20 times the cash as Harris in North Carolina
Harris was $86,000 in debt at the end of 2018

Democrat Dan McCready ended 2018 with $338,000 in the bank. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

End-of-the-year fundraising reports provide a window into how the two candidates in North Carolina’s 9th District have been approaching a new election that hasn’t yet been called and isn’t certain to happen.

Democrat Dan McCready ended the year with $378,000 in the bank compared to $19,000 for Republican Mark Harris, whose campaign reported debts of $86,000. McCready has yet to pay himself back $250,000 of a $500,000 loan he made to his campaign in late October.

DCCC sets its eyes on Texas suburbs and beyond for 2020
House Democrats unveiled their offensive targets for presidential year

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, won re-election to his suburban Dallas seat last fall by just 3 points. He’s on the Democrats’ target list for 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the heels of their historic midterm success, the House Democratic campaign arm has identified 32 Republican-held seats it’d like to peel off in 2020. 

Democrats netted 40 seats in the chamber last fall by going after the suburbs and areas of diverse and rapid population growth where President Donald Trump has been unpopular. The party is looking to the next tier of these districts to help them make more gains next year. 

Dan McCready raises $500,000 for North Carolina election that hasn’t been called yet
Donations came in over the five weeks since Democrat retracted concession

Democrat Dan McCready raised $500,000 in the past five weeks. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

Since withdrawing his concession in North Carolina’s 9th District race, Democrat Dan McCready has raised more than $500,000 for a new election that isn’t even certain to happen. 

McCready withdrew his concession on Dec. 6 after allegations of election fraud led the state elections board to delay certification of the results and The Associated Press to retract its call in favor of Republican Mark Harris, who had originally led by 905 votes. 

Court Rules Against Mark Harris in Unresolved North Carolina House Race
Harris had sought Wake County court to certify election results that are under investigation

A court denied Mark Harris' request to force the state board of elections to certify him as the winner of the 9th District election. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

It’s been more than two months since the midterms, but the election in North Carolina’s 9th District is still unresolved. And a hearing in Wake County Tuesday did not bring it any closer to resolution, with a judge declining to force certification of the election on behalf of Republican Mark Harris.

Harris, who led by 905 votes in the wake of the November election, had requested that Wake County Superior Court Jude Paul Ridgeway intervene to declare him the winner, despite a pending state investigation into the contest, which has been marred by allegations of election fraud.

Pennsylvania 12 special election: Is Marino’s seat at risk?
It’s a solid red seat, but nothing has come easy for the GOP the last two years

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., is saying goodbye to the House for a job in the private sector. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina’s 9th District was the clear front-runner to host the first congressional election of 2019 until Republican Tom Marino announced his resignation from Pennsylvania’s 12th District. The seat has a significant GOP lean to it, but Republicans seem to find new ways to make special elections closer and more competitive than they should be.

The four-term congressman said Thursday he would be leaving Jan. 23 for a job in the private sector. Marino was re-elected last November with 66 percent and just began his fifth term.