Mark Harris, the GOP candidate who was at the heart of an election fraud scandal in North Carolina’s District 09, decided not to run in the new election that was ordered by the NC State Board of Elections.
Citing his health and family considerations, Harris declined to run and instead has endorsed Union County executive Stony Rushing, colloquially known as Boss Hogg.
A Crowded GOP Primary Field
Yet Rushing has a lot of competition. With the new primary in May, the GOP field is the most crowded in nearly a decade: ten candidates are running.
One candidate needs only 30% of the vote to avoid a runoff election.
The Democratic candidate remains, as it did for the original 2018 election, Dan McCReady, a Marine Corps veteran, business owner, husband, and father of young children.
Potential Media Microscope Yet Trump Remains Mum
Given the circumstances surrounding the need for a new election – verified voter fraud, with numerous indictments arising from it – you can be sure there will be a media microscope trained on this race.
Yet there is still blatant silence from the voter-fraud-accuser-in-chief, president Trump.
I will admit I still have the capacity to be surprised by the hypocrisy of the GOP members who make accusations, without evidence, of voter fraud yet remain silent or even defend actual proven electoral fraud.
I guess the NC-09 case doesn’t meet their narrative, but still – c’mon, we’re not dumb!
Harris Made The Right Choice
In this case, Harris made a smart choice to stay out of the race. Five of his campaign operatives were indicted and subsequently arrested. And there are persistent rumors that Harris himself may not get off scot free. (Well, except for that whole “losing a race he badly wanted to win” thing.)
NC Elections investigators turned over “voluminous” files to the Wake County District Attorney, meaning the investigation is likely to continue for quite awhile.
Heath issues or not, I won’t be at all surprised if Mark Harris is indicted for electoral fraud. There is plenty of direct evidence that he knew of the illegal tactics of the campaign operative he hired, and hired him anyway, even disregarding warnings from his son John, an assistant US Attorney in North Carolina.
The Way Forward
As shocking as this case has been, I’m pleased it’s getting the level of national attention it is.
As the hearings and investigations progressed, it became clear that the NC GOP had known for years of the fraudulent and illegal tactics used by the now-arrested campaign operator. Yet they ignored accumulating evidence and reports of concerns, presumably because their party and candidates were benefitting.
Now that the fraud has been exposed, we can expect that this will become a cautionary tale for others who may want to carry out the same kind of vote suppression tactics.
Fraud thrives in darkness. By shining the light on the shenanigans in NC-09, we have the opportunity to understand how such fraud is carried out; what the motivations are; and most importantly how to counteract it.
I applaud the NC State Board of Elections for properly carrying out its role despite intense pressure to not acknowledge the truth of this matter.
Let’s see what happens first in the primary in May. Stay tuned!