‘Run ev­ery­thing over,’ House Dem says of NC race

The Island Packet - - Stay Connected - BY EMMA DUMAIN, PAUL A. SPECHT, BRIAN MUR­PHY AND TIM FUNK edu­[email protected]­clatchydc.com as­[email protected]­sob­server.com bmur­[email protected]­clatchydc.com [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com

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 de­feated Pit­tenger in the May pri­mary, a race that like­wise has drawn scru­tiny over mailin ab­sen­tee vote to­tals in ru­ral Bladen County.

Cly­burn said he “ab­so­lutely” op­posed 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 this first place.”

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 said a House com­mit­tee could look into the elec­tion.

PAUL SANCYA AP

Rep. Jim Cly­burn, a South Carolina Demo­crat and the in­com­ing House ma­jor­ity whip, said on Thurs­day that the dis­puted elec­tion for the 9th Con­gres­sional District in North Carolina should start over.

McCrae Dow­less

Mark Har­ris

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