Democrat McCready takes back concession in disputed NC congressional race

Democrat McCready takes back concession in disputed NC congressional race

"If they can say with a strong degree of certainty that the outcome of the race was changed or there is a substantial likelihood that it could have been, the law requires that there be a new election, and we would not oppose", said Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, in an interview with NPR.

"While the Republican majority is once again chasing conspiracies, real election fraud is playing out right before us in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District", Connolly, the vice ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement.

"This is bigger than that one seat", Pelosi said.

The move came as attention focused on Leslie McCrae Dowless, a Bladen County, North Carolina operative who was hired by a firm that got $400,000 from the Harris campaign.

"It's expensive and logistically tough to have a new election in the 9th District", Steve Stone said. "I think we have to let the board of elections come show their hand if they can show that this conceivably could have flipped the race in that neighborhood, we will absolutely support a new election".

"Any member-elect can object to the seating or the swearing in of another member-elect, and we'll see how that goes".

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.

A Democratic U.S. congressman on Wednesday called for an emergency hearing into claims of fraud in a North Carolina election where the state is probing alleged improper handling of ballots by political operatives. An analysis by Catawba College's J. Michael Bitzer found that McCready won lopsided majorities of absentee ballots in seven of the eight counties that comprise the 9th District, except in Bladen County.

They point to unusual outcomes in the mail-in ballot totals in previous elections that appeared to benefit Democrats or Republicans, depending on the race and the year.

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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.

However, he said that if the investigation shows that the outcome would not have been changed, Republican candidate Harris should be certified the victor.

On election night, as it appeared he was headed for a narrow defeat, Pittenger complained of the "ballot stuffers in Bladen" County, according to the Post. Last week, the bipartisan state board of elections refused to certify the results because of reports of "irregularities" and "fraudulent activities" involving absentee ballots.

Dowless has not returned CNN's requests for comment. A new election may well be the only way for the GOP to save this seat ... if that's possible after this debacle, even in a district with an R+8 Cook index.

The board, appointed by the governor, is made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and one non-partisan member.

Unofficial totals have Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. Dowless worked as a contractor for Harris' chief strategist in the campaign, Harris campaign lawyer John Branch confirmed Tuesday. But of the voters who turned in the absentee ballots, only 19 percent were registered Republicans.

There are also claims that incomplete ballots were collected and then filled out later, Cohen said.

That's a shift for Woodhouse, who previously dismissed such calls as a Democratic attempt to steal the election from Harris.

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