Republican Mark Harris, who appeared to win a congressional seat in North Carolina in November, announced Tuesday he would not be a candidate in a new congressional race after the board of elections found there was enough evidence of election fraud to hold a new contest.
Harris, who led the November race by 905 votes, cited health concerns in his decision not to run again. He said he needs surgery soon, which would conflict with a new race.
“Given my health situation, the need to regain full strength and the timing of this surgery the last week of March, I have decided not to file in the new election for Congressional District 9,” he said in a statement. “I owe it to Beth, my children and my six grandchildren to make the wisest decision for my health. I also owe it to the citizens of the Ninth District to have someone at full strength during the new campaign. It is my hope that in the upcoming primary, a solid conservative leader will emerge to articulate the critical issues that face our nation.”
Harris’ opponent in the November race, Democrat Dan McCready, has already announced he will run again.
Because of a law North Carolina Republicans passed last year, candidates in the contest must run in both a new primary and general election. The North Carolina Board of Elections has not yet set the dates for the new contest.
While the North Carolina Board ordered a new election, there still could be criminal charges in the matter.