NCSBE sets date for new 9th Congressional District election

New dates set for District 9 elections

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina State Board of Elections set a date for the new 9th Congressional District election in a meeting Monday afternoon.

Board members voted on a second election date of Sept. 10, 2019, if a second primary is needed.

All five board members unanimously voted for a new election last month after Republican Mark Harris stunningly switched course and said he was in support of holding a new election.

The filing period for candidates to run in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District opens on March 11, with the primary set for May 14. The general election will be September 10, which coincides with Charlotte’s municipal primaries.

If a second primary is necessary, the general election would be Nov. 5, following a Sept. 10 runoff election.

The candidate filing period will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. between the dates of March 11 and March 15

“The State Board will set dates for new primary (and second primary, if necessary) and general elections at a subsequent meeting," the state board of elections said in a press release in late February.

[ State Board of Elections votes unanimously to hold new election in NC District 9 ]

Last month’s NC-9 investigation hearing ended abruptly during Harris’ testimony when he took the stand and read a statement that he had testified incorrectly under oath.

Harris announced last Tuesday that he will not run in a new election for the 9th Congressional District.

In the statement Harris says “after consulting with my physicians, there are several things that my health situation requires as a result of the extremely serious condition that I faced in mid-January. One of those is a necessary surgery that is now scheduled for the last week in March.”

Harris, who was the unofficial winner of the 9th District election in November, made the announcement just days after a four-day hearing into alleged election fraud held by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

In a rally last month, Democrat Dan McCready announced that he will be running for the special election in NC09.

Harris, who was the unofficial winner of the 9th District election in November, made the announcement just days after a four-day hearing into alleged election fraud held by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

In a rally Friday last month, Democrat Dan McCready announced that he will be running for the special election in NC09.

“The one thing I can’t help but think is that what happened yesterday was that the State Board sent a message," McCready said at a rally in Charlotte. "In a 5-0 bipartisan decision - an historic decision - 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans came to together to send a message all across this country and all across the world that we care about democracy here in North Carolina.”

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 last Monday. Over the weekend, former Charlotte Councilman Kenny Smith confirmed he would not run, as did Union County Republican Party Chairman Daniel Barry.

On Monday, Republican State Senator Dan Bishop (Mecklenburg) announced he would run and was prepared to put six figures of his own money into the race.

Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour, also a Republican, has indicted he is considering joining the race, too.

Union County Commissioner Stoney Rushing, who received an endorsement from Harris in his statement announcing he wouldn’t run again, is also making a bid for the seat.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Former Gov. Pat McCrory won’t run in District 9. He’s focused on two other NC races

Sunday afternoon, former Charlotte City Council member and mayoral candidate Kenny Smith announced that he wouldn’t run for the seat. Union County GOP Chairman Daniel Barry also said he will not file to be a candidate.

McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County political operative at the center of the 9th District election fraud case, was indicted by the Wake County District Attorney Wednesday and charged with election-related crimes.

Dowless, who was hired by Mark Harris to run an absentee ballot operation in Bladen, Robeson and Cumberland Counties in the 2018 election, was arrested after indictments became public.

The Grand Jury returned sealed indictments on Tuesday against multiple people, including Dowless, following last week’s District 9 investigation hearing.

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.

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.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.