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: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
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Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Oxford
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Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 83°
Starkville
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Hi: 89° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 82°
The humidity ramps up a bit more into Friday morning, and so will the heat. Temperatures will heat up a little more with heat index values climbing even more. There could be an isolated afternoon shower in spots, though most will stay dry. Rain chances increase some into the weekend as a tropical system approaches. But it now appears that many areas may dodge the heaviest rain.
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