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Will Republicans abandon their candidate in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District?

North Carolina Republicans said Tuesday that a new election would be necessary in the state's 9th Congressio...

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 11:34 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 11:34 AM

North Carolina Republicans said Tuesday that a new election would be necessary in the state's 9th Congressional District if investigators can verify a local newspaper report that early voting results in Bladen County were leaked before Election Day.

Republican Mark Harris appeared to emerge as the narrow winner over Democrat Dan McCready on Election Day but subsequent revelations of fraud surrounding absentee ballots in two counties have Democrats and Republicans, who also might have seen their primary marred by similar irregularities, openly discussing the prospect of launching a second vote.

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Mark Harris

McCrae Dowless

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Voters and voting

Here's a look at where things currently stand.

GOP candidate Mark Harris

We haven't heard much from Harris. The GOP candidate has released only one pre-recorded statement since the revelations related to McCrae Dowless, the political operative paid by his campaign, were revealed. The situation has become increasingly difficult for North Carolina Republicans, and they know it. While no prominent Republican in North Carolina have publicly distanced themselves from Harris, behind the scenes it is a different story. The party would at least like the option of replacing Harris if a new election is necessary. That is one of the reasons that the GOP-controlled State Legislature added language in a broader bill on elections that included a provision that would require a new primary in the event a second election is necessary. While the GOP can make plans for a post- Harris world, make no mistake it is Harris and Harris alone that controls his destiny. If he wants to stay in the race he can. Despite GOPers quietly grumbling about how he could sink their chances of holding the seat, he has shown no signs of going anywhere.

Harris and Dowless ties continue to emerge

The main reason Republicans are in a tight spot is because with each passing day it is becoming more difficult for Harris to reasonably make the argument that he had absolutely no knowledge of the Dowless operation. An associate of Dowless, Jeffery Smith, told CNN that he personally witnessed Dowless and Harris meeting in a satellite campaign office in Bladen County. Smith also said that Dowless told him he met with Harris on a regular basis. Harris has yet to change his position that he did not know anything about what Dowless was up to. If evidence continues to emerge that directly contradicts that claim it will make it that much more difficult for Harris to win a second election.

If a new election happens, when will it happen?

The short answer is -- it could be a while. On Wednesday, the State Board of Elections sent a letter to the 10th Judicial District Court overseeing a stay that keeps the board in its current form while it investigates the claims in the 9th Congressional District. Lawmakers in North Carolina are in the process of overhauling the board's make-up, but the court has extended their current composition through at least December 28. In this new letter, the board chairman Joshua Malcom writes the "disputes and uncertainty about the board's clear authority between December 28 and January 31 will substantially disrupt our efforts." Malcom asks the three-judge panel to allow them to continue their work until they make a final determination on how to handle the situation in the 9th District. That shows us they have a lot more work to do and that the work may not be done before Christmas and could extend into the New Year. While both Republicans and Democrats seem convinced a new election is necessary, it is the board that will make the final call, and they seem to need a lot more time to make that determination.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 500286

Reported Deaths: 9968
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34281537
DeSoto32039402
Hinds31911626
Jackson24466379
Rankin21971390
Lee15501235
Madison14566279
Jones13825242
Forrest13438250
Lauderdale11984316
Lowndes11003188
Lamar10510135
Pearl River9494237
Lafayette8542139
Hancock7727126
Washington7418157
Oktibbeha7139131
Monroe6765176
Warren6679176
Pontotoc6655102
Neshoba6625206
Panola6511131
Marshall6460134
Bolivar6302148
Union601294
Pike5815152
Alcorn5662101
Lincoln5431134
George496579
Scott472198
Tippah468381
Prentiss466581
Leflore4654144
Itawamba4628105
Adams4584119
Tate4579109
Copiah447792
Simpson4440116
Yazoo443687
Wayne439172
Covington428694
Sunflower4235105
Marion4225107
Coahoma4154104
Leake408088
Newton381679
Grenada3703108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359492
Attala331089
Jasper329565
Winston314091
Clay307676
Chickasaw299467
Clarke292194
Calhoun278945
Holmes267887
Smith263350
Yalobusha233347
Tallahatchie226851
Walthall218763
Greene218248
Lawrence212440
Perry205256
Amite204755
Webster202646
Noxubee186440
Montgomery179456
Jefferson Davis171442
Carroll168738
Tunica159439
Benton148438
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132237
Humphreys129238
Franklin119428
Quitman106428
Wilkinson104839
Jefferson94434
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 815989

Reported Deaths: 15311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1144621915
Mobile723961330
Madison52114694
Shelby37488348
Baldwin37167547
Tuscaloosa35013606
Montgomery34031734
Lee23177245
Calhoun22190476
Morgan20719376
Etowah19774497
Marshall18277302
Houston17333411
St. Clair15967339
Cullman15365292
Limestone15270198
Elmore15126284
Lauderdale14205294
Talladega13783276
DeKalb12598260
Walker11142369
Blount10132175
Autauga9910146
Jackson9819182
Coffee9190191
Dale8874185
Colbert8803201
Tallapoosa7063198
Escambia6755130
Covington6695184
Chilton6608161
Russell626659
Franklin5947105
Chambers5563142
Marion4966126
Dallas4902200
Clarke474083
Pike4722105
Geneva4567126
Winston4493103
Lawrence4286117
Bibb423686
Barbour356576
Marengo337489
Monroe330863
Randolph328263
Butler325396
Pickens314182
Henry311865
Hale310688
Cherokee301660
Fayette291379
Washington251151
Cleburne247160
Crenshaw244075
Clay241268
Macon231763
Lamar219547
Conecuh185753
Coosa179439
Lowndes174464
Wilcox167839
Bullock151644
Perry138440
Sumter132038
Greene126244
Choctaw87827
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 55°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
More high pressure will move back into our area overnight and into our Friday. This high pressure will bring back into our area some more dry and seasonable weather for a few days.
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