CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said he will not run in the District 9 race. McCrory made the announcement Monday morning on the WBT News radio show, answering a question on the minds of many.
McCrory said he is keeping the option open for running for governor in 2020 or U.S. Senate in 2022.
Although he admits running for congress was always a dream of his, he says his skill set and experiences would be better suited for a potential governor or senate run in the future.
All five North Carolina Board of Election members unanimously voted for a new election last week after Republican Mark Harris switched course and called for a new election.
The turn of events happened Thursday, on day four of the District 9 investigation hearing.
In a rally Friday afternoon, Democrat Dan McCready announced that he will be running for the special election in NC09 following the board members vote to hold a new election.
Monday, McCrory said he had several people advise him to run for the District 9 seat, as well as people who opposed the move, saying he should not run.
“I’ve taken all of this feedback and revisited the question that my dad asked in 1994,” McCrory said. “Where can I make the most difference?”
McCrory said he is making a difference right now while teaching at UNC Chapel Hill and being a radio host.
McCrory said he wants to know more about what’s going on in Bladen County.
The District 9 investigation hearing began last Monday morning to begin publicly disclosing evidence into a months-long investigation into alleged election fraud in the 9th District.
The investigation began in late November after the NCSBE voted to not certify the results of the 9th Congressional District race where Republican Mark Harris led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes after the November general election.
Members of the NCSBE received a private briefing from staff about the findings of the investigation at a meeting in early February.
The board that planned to preside over the hearing and determine whether to certify the results of the race or hold a new election is not the same board that voted to launch the investigation in November.
In December, a three-judge panel ordered the then-NCSBE to dissolve, finding that the bill creating that version of the elections board was unconstitutional. There was no elections board for the month of January. Governor Roy Cooper appointed the current five-member board, made up of three Democrats and two Republicans, on January 31, 2019, under the terms of a law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in response to the court order.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections will start considering dates for the new 9th Congressional district election at their next meeting.
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.
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.
Mark Harris has not indicated whether he will run again but during his statement Thursday he said that he recently suffered two strokes and is battling ongoing health issues.
Other Republicans may look to enter the race to challenge McCready.