Election 2018

Over Balaclava? I don’t think I’ll ever get over Balaclava.

Republican Mark Harris calls for new election in North Carolina’s 9th District

Mark Harris, the Republican candidate in North Carolina’s disputed 9th Congressional District, said Thursday that he believes a new election should be called after hearing four days of testimony alleging that fraud took place during Harris’ 2018 race.

Harris’ statement, reversing weeks of GOP resistance to a new North Carolina race, came after state officials said Thursday that Harris’ campaign attorney withheld documents relevant to the investigation.

State board lawyer John Lawson said Harris’ campaign attorney turned over documents late Wednesday night, a day before Harris was set to take the stand. The records in question should have been turned over earlier under a subpoena sent to the campaign committee, the board said.

Harris’ campaign attorney, John Branch, said he mistakenly believed the documents did not fall under the subpoena.

“I’m here to own that,” Branch said, adding that he did not think to ask Harris’ campaign manager or other campaign employees paid by the consulting firm Red Dome Group to turn over records.

The revelation drew the ire of the election board chairman, Bob Cordle, who called Branch’s actions “unacceptable.”

Mark Harris’ son warned him about operative in North Carolina scandal

In emotional testimony Wednesday, the son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he warned his father about the absentee ballot strategy used by Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative at the center of an election fraud scandal in the state’s 9th Congressional District.

John Harris testified before the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Wednesday about allegations of election fraud. Though Mark Harris led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the unofficial ballot count on election night in November, the election board refused to certify a winner, pointing to accusations of fraud.

John Harris, an attorney, said he had been suspicious of Dowless’ operation early on and shared his thoughts with his father and mother. His testimony appears to refute comments made by his father that he was never warned about Dowless, who has felony convictions of fraud and perjury.

After the elder Harris met with Dowless, his son sent him an email on April 7, 2017, that included text of the law on the illegality of collecting a person’s absentee ballot.

“Good test is if you’re comfortable with the full process he uses being broadcast on the news,” the younger Harris told his father in an email as the candidate contemplated hiring Dowless.

John Harris said he believed his father’s mind was already made up despite the warning.

He added that there’s no reason for him to believe his father, mother or anyone else within his father’s campaign knew what Dowless was doing.

“I raised red flags at the time the decision was made to hire Mr. Dowless,” John Harris, whose testimony dominated the third day of the hearing, said.

“I love my dad, and I love my mom. I certainly have no vendetta against them, no family scores to settle,” he said. “I think that they made mistakes in this process and they certainly did things differently than I would have done them.”

Now that Harris and the Republicans have agreed to new elections it becomes highly probable that’s the way the State Board of Elections will rule, so get ready for a redo in NC 09.