CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina State Board of Elections will start considering dates for the new 9th Congressional district election at their next meeting. All five board members unanimously voted for a new election Thursday after Republican Mark Harris stunningly switched course and said he was in support of holding a new election.
Thursday afternoon the state board of elections issued a press release saying “The State Board will set dates for new primary (and second primary, if necessary) and general elections at a subsequent meeting.”
Last December, the General Assembly passed a law mandating a new primary in the 9th Congressional District if the board of elections called for a new race.
Primary races typically fall under the guidelines of federal elections law so it is unclear whether North Carolina actually has the ability to call for a new primary or if there will be a legal challenge. Thursday, Dan McCready’s attorney Marc Elias declined to say whether they would challenge the new law requiring a primary.
Primary candidates in North Carolina need 50 percent of the vote in order to advance to the general election, which is why a second primary could be required.
Federal elections law requires a minimum of 45 days to allow for absentee and mail-in voting.
It’s also unclear who will participate in the upcoming race.
Dan McCready has indicated he plans on running again and is holding a rally Friday with his supporters.
Mark Harris has not indicated whether he will run again but during his statement Thursday said that he recently suffered two strokes and is battling ongoing health issues.
Other Republicans might look to enter the race to challenge McCready.