Robert Pittenger

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.

As Mark Harris runs from reporters, his path to House seat narrows
House Democrats say they won’t seat NC Republican, citing ongoing investigations into absentee ballots

GOP congressional candidate Mark Harris speaks as President Donald Trump and Republican Rep. Ted Budd listen during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., in October. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

Republican Mark Harris regrets running from reporters earlier this week, he said Tuesday, as the controversy drags on over his 905-vote midterm election lead in North Carolina’s 9th District.

After attending a meeting of the Mecklenburg GOP on Monday, Harris raced past reporters down a back stairwell, setting off the fire alarm and declining to answer any questions.

Rep. Robert Pittenger Won’t Run Even if ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Probe Causes Primary Do-Over
Incumbent NC congressman lost GOP primary to Mark Harris, who is now under investigation by state board

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., won’t run for his seat again should fraud allegations against Mark Harris result in a new primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Should an investigation into fraud allegations in the race for North Carolina’s 9th District trigger a new primary contest, the incumbent won’t be a candidate.

Rep. Robert Pittenger — who was ousted in a May primary election that has attracted national attention for absentee ballot irregularities favorable to winner Mark Harris — said Monday that he won’t run again. 

GOP Could Ditch Mark Harris in Potential North Carolina Primary Re-Do
Republican state lawmakers have passed bill to hold new primary if elections board tosses initial results due to illegal tampering

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have raised the possibility of allowing their party to ditch 9th District candidate Mark Harris in a new primary election if the Nov. 7 results for his race are tossed out. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina have passed legislation that would allow the party to ditch Mark Harris in a new primary election for the 9th District seat if the state board of elections there decides to toss out the results of the Nov. 7 midterms.

Now the bill sits on Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

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A House Race in North Carolina Gets Curiouser and Curiouser
Who knew the background checks for political work were so lax?

For a while it looked like Republican Mark Harris had squeaked out a win in the 9th District. But there’s something rotten in the state of North Carolina, Curtis writes. (John D. Simmons/AP file photo)

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Perhaps North Carolina’s 9th District will have a congressman by January; but maybe not.

You see, there seems to have been a mix-up in the count, distribution and collection of absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties, which make up part of the district — what the state elections board (made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and one independent) called “unfortunate activities” when it first refused to certify the results.

North Carolina Woman Admits to ‘Harvesting’ Ballots for Mark Harris Operative
State elections board officials delay certifying Harris’ victory over Democrat Dan McCready

Fall leaves frame the dome of the U.S. Capitol building on Nov. 8, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A North Carolina woman on Tuesday admitted to illegally “harvesting” ballots for a campaign operative working for GOP candidate Mark Harris in the race for the state’s 9th District U.S. House seat.

Ginger Eason, a Bladen County resident, told a reporter for WSOC-TV on Tuesday that she had done campaign work for Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., who paid her $75 to $100 per week to collect absentee ballots in the county and deliver them to him.

NC Prosecutor Has Been Probing Election Fraud in 9th District Going Back to 2016
State elections board has twice declined to certify Republican Mark Harris’ slim victory amid fraud claims

A North Carolina prosecutor has been investigating election irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District long before Mark Harris’ contested election in November’s election. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer file photo via AP)

The district attorney in Wake County, North Carolina, has been investigating claims of election tampering in North Carolina’s 9th District for months, long before the results of the district’s congressional race were thrown into question over claims of fraud.

Lorrin Freeman opened a probe earlier this year to examine irregularities in the 2016 election in the 9th-District section of Bladen County, and has since added similar allegations from the 2018 primary and general elections to her investigation.

GOP Tells N.C. Elections Board to Certify 9th District Results Even as It Probes Election Fraud
Irregularities in mail-in absentee ballots has thrown GOP's victory into question

Irregularities in absentee voting has led to accusations of election fraud for the benefit of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris  (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP file photo)

Republicans in North Carolina are pressuring the state elections board there to certify the 9th District results, even as officials continue to investigate irregularities in absentee voting.

Those irregularities, and a handful of sworn statements alleging illegal “harvesting” of absentee ballots, have led to accusations of election fraud for the benefit of Republican Mark Harris.

AP Retracts Call for Republican in North Carolina’s 9th District
State officials are investigating allegations of fraud

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris defeated Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th District, but the state board of elections has not yet certified the result. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP file photo)

The Associated Press on Friday retracted its call in North Carolina’s 9th District. The press agency had called the race for Republican Mark Harris on Nov. 9, three days after Election Day, but with state election officials investigating allegations of fraud and delaying the certification of the results, the AP is now treating the race as if it’s proceeded to a recount.

State officials in North Carolina are investigating allegations of fraud in the 9th District, where Harris leads Democrat Mark McCready by less than a thousand votes.