GOP Candidate's Consultant Linked To 2nd County In North Carolina Election Probe

Calvin Saunders
December 8, 2018

McCready's move comes after the head of the state Republican Party said he would support a new election in the state's unresolved congressional race if an investigation shows that wrongdoing swayed its outcome.

But Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state GOP, has gone from claiming this was all a Democratic conspiracy to worrying over the mounting allegations and how they may hurt the party.

"Over the last week, we have seen the criminal activity come to light, and we have seen that my opponent Mark Harris has bankrolled this criminal activity", McCready told Charlotte, North Carolina, television state WSOC-TV on Thursday.

"I call on Mark Harris to tell us exactly what he knew and when he knew it", McCready said.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Republicans should be concerned as well, because Dowless also operated in the GOP primary, and the allegations have significance beyond North Carolina.

The allegations have left North Carolina's Ninth Congressional district seat in limbo, with Harris holding a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready.

It's been reported than an operative hired by Harris team had manipulated absentee ballots in the two counties, where most voters are African-Americans.

Dowless allegedly helped orchestrate a scheme to tamper with absentee ballots in Harris' favor.

The State Board of Elections is investigating whether he had a role in manipulating or even handling absentee ballots. The board is meeting later this month to hear evidence, but it's unclear whether the race will be settled then.

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Their accounts provide the first indication that state and national Republican officials received early warnings about voting irregularities in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, now the subject of multiple criminal probes. There's a real possibility that they will call for a new election.

"The House Administration Committee will have full investigative authority to determine the victor of the election", Pelosi added.

The Democrat conceded after Election Day that Harris had won.

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As for Harris, he insists he supports an investigation into voter fraud, but that it won't change the outcome.

"The House still retains the right to decide who is seated", she said.

It's "bigger than that one seat", she said, pointing to the overall "integrity of elections".

Lawmakers there are trying to prevent the new leaders from exercising the power voters gave them, a tactic borrowed from the North Carolina Republican playbook after Democrat Roy Cooper beat McCrory in the governor's race in 2016.

Subpoenas have been issued for Harris's campaign, Red Dome (the political consulting firm Dowless has worked under), and the campaign of County Sheriff Jim McVicker, who also has paid for Dowless's services. But investigators are probing whether some absentee ballots were altered by Dowless and a loosely connected group working with him or collected from voters but never turned in.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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