RALEIGH, N.C. -- Mark Harris, the GOP candidate for the 9th Congressional District, took the stand to give his testimony Thursday at the ongoing District 9 hearing. At the end of his testimony, Harris said a new election should be called. The State Board of Elections has unanimously voted for a new election in the district.
- As the investigation into possible election fraud continues in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, we've compiled our coverage on it here.
- District 9 Hearing Continues for Day 3
- Day 2 of District 9 Hearing Wraps Up, Harris to Take Stand Wednesday
- Day 1 of District 9 Hearing Wraps Up; Dowless Refuses to Testify Without Immunity
This means we will have two Congressional elections in this "off year". The state board will set days for the new election.
The North Carolina Democratic Party released a statement after the unanimous vote Thursday saying:
“Over an extraordinary four-day hearing, investigators laid out point-by-point how Republican Mark Harris’ campaign funded and directed an elaborate, illegal scheme to steal an election. North Carolina Republicans, following Mark Harris’ lead, repeatedly lied to the people of the Ninth district, silenced their voices, and undermined our entire state’s faith in our democracy. This saga could only have ended in a new election, and we look forward to repairing the harm dealt by Republicans and giving the people of the Ninth district the representative they deserve.”
Dallas Woodhouse, executive director for the NCGOP, tweeted asking for prayers for Mark Harris after his testimony.
Wednesday, John Harris, Mark Harris's son, told the board that he warned his father via email about problems with the man heading up that effort.
In the November election, Harris tallied just over 900 votes more than Dan McCready, the Democratic contender.
Thursday, Mark Harris started his testimony by saying that when he met with McCrae Dowless in April of 2017, which is before he actually decided to run, and that he thought Dowless presented a unique absentee ballot program.
He acknowledges that his son did raise questions about Dowless and past campaigns he worked with, and when asked by investigators why he didn't heed those warnings, Harris said he trusted people local to Bladen County.
Harris also testified about the first checks he paid to McCrae Dowless, which went to an independent expenditure PAC run by Dowless.
When the board asked Harris if he knew that was illegal to coordinate with a PAC, Harris said that has never been explained to him.
Also on Thursday, frustrations arose from the state board of elections to attorneys for Mark Harris's committee.
They center around documents which were subpoenaed that were potentially withheld. John Harris produced some of those emails, raising questions why the committee had not until just moments before John took the stand.
Attorneys for Dan McCready accused Harris's committee of withholding those emails despite a subpoena, saying those documents would've been relevant to the case.
Latest updates from our reporters: