McCready says he’s running in new N.C. House election

Emery P. Dalesio
Associated Press
In this May 8, 2018 file photo Ninth Congressional district Democratic candidate Dan McCready smiles as he speaks with U.S. Rep. Alma Adams outside Eastover Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C.

Raleigh, N.C. – Democrat Dan McCready said Friday that he’s running, again, for the country’s last vacant congressional seat now that North Carolina has ordered a new election.

McCready told supporters Friday at a brewery in Waxhaw, near Charlotte: “I am running in the special election to represent the people of the 9th District.”

McCready trailed Republican Mark Harris by a slim margin in the November general election. But on Thursday the state ordered a new election for the district after reviewing evidence of absentee ballot fraud by operatives working for Harris.

“Folks, there’s a lot of people that have had their confidence shaken in recent weeks because of the fraud conducted by Mark Harris’s campaign,” McCready told a gathering of several dozen supporters. “There’s a lot of people right now in North Carolina that are disillusioned in our electoral process.”

He told the crowd that he and his team were going to “knock on every door” in the district to earn votes and to reassure constituents that he’s the type of politician who will do the right thing.

“We’re going to talk to people about doing what’s right instead of what’s wrong,” he said.

McCready has been assembling a new campaign staff and raising money to run again in the district that stretches from Charlotte through several counties to the east. His campaign finance report showed McCready raised $487,000 during the final five weeks of 2018. His campaign sent out a campaign fundraising plea late Thursday, citing the board’s decision.

Asked at his rally about whether anyone should face criminal charges over the ballot fraud allegations, McCready said there were a lot of “unanswered questions.” He also said he wished Harris the best as he recovers from health problems.

The state elections board Thursday ordered a new election after Harris, in a surprising reversal, gave up his fight to be declared winner. He said a new election was warranted after testimony during the week revealed serious public doubts about the contest’s fairness.

North Carolina’s elections director said earlier this week that a local political operative in a rural corner of the 9th District conducted an illegal and well-funded ballot-harvesting operation during the 2018 election cycle while working for Harris.

Associated Press writer Jonathan Drew in Raleigh contributed to this report.