CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Democratic candidate Dan McCready conceded to Republican opponent Mark Harris in North Carolina’s District 9 race Wednesday evening.
McCready did not make an announcement after Tuesday’s election. At midnight, the race was separated by just under 2,000 votes.
McCready became emotional as he addressed his supporters and announced his concession.
“You’ve worked so hard... you let me listen to your stories and priorities... you turned it into a movement to put country before party,” McCready said.
Hours earlier, Harris doubled down on his announcement that he had won the election. Harris had declared victory just after midnight on election night and thanked President Donald Trump in a speech to supporters.
“Tonight’s victory that we’re here to celebrate is a result of your hard work and what you did,” Harris said. “I have to say as I look at that map tonight, thank God for Bladen and Union County."
135,232 votes were cast for McCready (49%) while Republican Mark Harris took home the same percentage but with slightly more votes (137,173).
A strategist for the Harris campaign said they did not receive a call from McCready campaign before Harris took the stage to speak to supporters at midnight.
"We understand from our opponent that he does not intend to make a statement tonight, but is going to sleep on it I guess and we will wait and see what the days ahead hold, but as you can see tonight Mark Harris has been elected to the ninth congressional district. I am so thankful that all of you are here," said Harris to the crowd.
A strategist from Harris' campaign told WBTV a press conference would likely be held Wednesday regarding the close race and McCready’s unwillingness to concede. That press conference was held at 5:30 p.m.
North Carolina’s 9th District Congressional seat has drawn national interest.
Mark Harris, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, defeated incumbent Robert Pittenger in the Republican primary for the 9th District seat in May.
About 300 people showed up at McCready’s watch party Tuesday night at the Marriott in SouthPark. They were hoping to hear a victory speech from their candidate. McCready didn’t address the crowd, however, his campaign manager greeted the supporters and thanked them for their support.
“We always knew this race would be close and sure enough it’s really down to the wire. The results are still coming in and votes are still being counted,” Dan McCready campaign manager Eric Johnson said.
McCready supporters say they were glad they participated in his campaign. Most stayed until the very end and left optimistic. They say despite the outcome of the elections, they were pleased they backed McCready. They claim he was a good candidate with a good message.
"It doesn't change my feelings about anything," McCready supporter Freda McKenzie said. "Other than being disappointed."
McCready and Harris faced off for in an hour-long debate on October 10. The debate was sponsored by The Charlotte Observer and WBTV.
The 9th District stretches from southeast Charlotte to Fayetteville. It’s been held by Republicans for more than five decades, but national observers rate it as a toss-up this year.
North Carolina 10th congressional district
According to the Associated Press, Republican Patrick McHenry won re-election to U.S. House in North Carolina’s 10th congressional district, Democrat Alma Adams won re-election to U.S. House in North Carolina’s 12th congressional district, Republican Richard Hudson won re-election to U.S. House in North Carolina’s 8th congressional district, Republican Ted Budd won re-election to U.S. House in North Carolina’s 13th congressional district. Republican Virginia Foxx won re-election to U.S. House in North Carolina’s 5th congressional district. and Republican Mark Meadows won re-election to U.S. House in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district.
Constitutional Amendments on the ballot
The legislature this year put six constitutional amendments on the ballot, which voters will vote on Tuesday. They cover a wide range of topics.
- One would require voters to show ID at the polls.
- Another amendment would enshrine the right to hunt and fish in the constitution.
- One creates more rights for crime victims to be notified of information about their case and the perpetrator, such as court and release dates.
- Another amendment shifts power to the legislature and away from the governor to fill judicial vacancies.
- An amendment would change the composition of the State Board of Elections and gives the legislature more power to choose members.
- And one would forever cap the state’s income tax at a maximum of 7 percent.
According to the Associated Press, North Carolina voters rejected the amendment that would have given lawmakers dominant role in filling judicial vacancies.
North Carolina voters approved the voter ID measure, which would require voters to provide photo ID at the polls. North Carolina voters approved more rights for crime victims with a 62 percent in favor of the crime victims’ rights amendment
NC voters also voted to approve the right to hunt and fish, a reduction of the income tax rate and voted against creating an election ethics board.
Voters in South Carolina will be required to make several decisions at the polls for the mid-term election.
South Carolina Governor’s Race
According to the Associated Press, Republican Henry McMaster won the race for governor in South Carolina.
South Carolina Republican incumbent Governor Henry McMaster, who won the Republican nomination after a GOP runoff in the June primary, will be making his first bid for governor since he assumed the role after then Governor Nikki Haley’s joined the Trump Administration.
McMaster is running alongside Pamela Evette, a business owner from Traveler’s Rest, S.C. Meanwhile, James Smith clinched the Democratic nomination in June. Mandy Powers Norrell, State Representative of District 44 in Lancaster is Smith’s running mate.
It is the first time in South Carolina history that the gubernatorial candidates are running on the same ticket as the lieutenant governor candidates.
Other South Carolina statewide races include the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, Agriculture Commission and the Superintendent of Education.
According to the Associated Press, Republican Ralph Norman won the race for U.S. House in South Carolina’s 5th congressional district.
Ahead of Election Day, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools left a voicemail with parents Monday morning addressing concerns for security at schools being used as polling sites. The school district says it will have increased security at the schools serving as voting sites and will also limit voters' access to school buildings.
CMS also says students will be rerouted during the school day if needed to keep them from encountering voters. The school district also says poll workers will have to check in and will go to a background check before working at the schools.