Rep. Clyburn calls for redo of NC race
The highest-ranking black member of Congress called for an entirely new election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, a sign of growing momentum for major action amid numerous reports of election fraud in the district.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat and the incoming House majority whip, has made fair elections a central piece of his legislative career. He was unequivocal in what he thought should happen next in the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready, which North Carolina’s state board of elections has declined to certify due to voting irregularities among mail-in absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties.
“North Carolina ought to run everything over,” Clyburn told McClatchy on Thursday. That includes a new primary with incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. “Pittenger ought to be on the ballot.”
Harris had defeated Pittenger in the Republican primary in May, a race that likewise has drawn scrutiny over mail-in absentee vote totals in rural Bladen County.
Clyburn said he is “absolutely” opposed to seating Harris on Jan. 3, when the new Congress convenes.
“I’m not too sure we ought not to subpoena (him), Clyburn said of Harris. “We need to find out whether or not Harris was involved in these discussions, and if he was, he ought to be disqualified as a candidate. So it’s not just about having a new election. We need to look at whether this man ought to be standing for election in the first place.”
On Thursday, according to Washington Post reports, McCready told television station WSOC that he was withdrawing his concession and accused Harris of bankrolling “criminal activity.”
The North Carolina Elections Board has subpoenaed the Harris campaign and Red Dome Group, a consulting firm that worked for Harris. Red Dome Group said it hired McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County political operative, who is under suspicion for allegedly gathering mail-in absentee ballots.
Clyburn’s comments came after Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, the expected incoming speaker of the House, said a House committee could look into the election.