Dan McCready loses special election for NC-9 house seat

Updated: Sep. 10, 2019 at 11:30 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - CHARLOTTE – Nearly a year after his first election night, Dan McCready yet again trailed his Republican rival but this time the race wasn’t as close. McCready lost Tuesday’s election to Republican Dan Bishop by about 4,000 votes in the race for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

McCready told his supporters to get some rest but to never stop fighting for their cause.

McCready built up a 7,000 vote lead through early voting, but Bishop came roaring back as precincts across the district started reporting. The candidates were within just a couple hundred of votes after 9 pm but McCready lost the lead he had in Robeson and Cumberland counties that he held when he ran against Mark Harris.

McCready waited until the results had all rolled in across the district before talking to his supporters who had showed up to the Doubletree Hotel in Southpark. McCready said he had already called Bishop

“I believe that when our country succeeds we all succeed for me that means offering my help to Dan Bishop as he takes over his new job representing us and I wish him the best,” McCready said.”

McCready trailed on election night in 2018 when he ran against Republican Mark Harris but the North Carolina State Board of Elections called for a new race after hearing evidence of absentee ballot fraud in Bladen County.

McCready mentioned the scandal that lead to the new election in his concession speech.

“When the people in power sought to silence the voice of the voters, stole their ballots, forged signatures for them, filled in vote choices for them, when they perpetrated the largest case of election fraud in recent American history we fought back and we won,” McCready said.

With only days remaining in the election McCready focused on grassroots get out the vote efforts while his opponent hosted visits from President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence.

As the early votes started rolling in McCready took a significant lead, at least in terms of a race that many thought would come down to hundreds of votes. But Bishop dominated on election day with nearly 11,000 more votes than McCready. McCready said his supporters knocked on about 100,000 doors across the district on election day alone.

“Tomorrow I want y’all to take a rest,” McCready said.

The value of each vote became clear in the moments leading up to polls closing. The North Carolina GOP asked the state board of an elections for an extension of voting time at a Union County precinct because the polling location had changed several months ago. The board denied that request but did extend voting for 25 minutes at a Mecklenburg County precinct that experienced a gas leak earlier in the day.

McCready didn’t hint at whether his future holds another run for office.

"The mission to unite our country does not end here tonight that mission continues and as long as this fight needs fighting we must keep answering that call,” McCready said.

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