Robert Pittenger

Trump ‘needs to weigh in... now’ on North Carolina special election, GOP rep who lost primary says
Former GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger wants president to help unify party behind one candidate to focus on defeating Democrat Dan McCready

Former North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger urged President Donald Trump to weigh in on the special election primary in his old district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Robert Pittenger, the most recent person to hold North Carolina’s vacant 9th District seat, urged President Donald Trump on Friday to help the GOP “coalesce” behind a someone by choosing his preferred primary candidate as early as possible.

“The president does need to weigh in on this now,” Pittenger said in a radio interview Friday with WBT in Charlotte.

GOP greets North Carolina election scandal with crickets, excuses and misdirection
Hypocrisy is too mild a word for Republican about-face on vote fraud

Republican Mark Harris, left, will not run in the do-over of the election in North Carolina’s 9th District. Above, Harris campaigns with North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd in Charlotte last October. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

[OPINION] CHARLOTTE, N.C. — America might know the name of the next president before voters in North Carolina’s 9th District have a representative in the House.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

With 2020 around the corner, North Carolina special election isn’t just about 9th District
Tar Heel State is a must-win for Republicans in 2020 presidential and Senate contests

North Carolina’s Mark Harris, left, here at a rally in Charlotte last October with Rep. Ted Budd, is almost certain to have company in the GOP primary if he decides to run in the 9th District special election this year. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

What may be the most high-profile special election of 2019 is likely to attract national attention as a harbinger of things to come in a competitive state next year. 

The North Carolina State Board of Elections hasn’t yet set a date for the special primary or general election in the 9th District. But the contest is already taking shape with a burgeoning field of prospective GOP candidates in a race with potential consequences for next year’s presidential and Senate elections in the Tar Heel State. (House contests are more unpredictable since the North Carolina congressional map may change ahead of 2020.)

Previously unseen messages from Harris roil North Carolina House race hearing
Mark Harris said he believed Dowless over his own son about absentee ballot program

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he believed operative Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. over the warnings of his own son. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

The fourth day of hearings into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District started with a potential evidentiary bombshell that roiled the proceedings and could extend them beyond this week.

Attorneys for Republican nominee Mark Harris’ campaign committee turned over a new message Wednesday night to the North Carolina State Board of Elections that had not been previously submitted. In the message, Harris asks for an introduction to Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., the operative who orchestrated the collection of absentee ballots.

As Mark Harris runs from reporters, his path to House seat narrows
House Democrats say they won’t seat NC Republican, citing ongoing investigations into absentee ballots

GOP congressional candidate Mark Harris speaks as President Donald Trump and Republican Rep. Ted Budd listen during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., in October. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

Republican Mark Harris regrets running from reporters earlier this week, he said Tuesday, as the controversy drags on over his 905-vote midterm election lead in North Carolina’s 9th District.

After attending a meeting of the Mecklenburg GOP on Monday, Harris raced past reporters down a back stairwell, setting off the fire alarm and declining to answer any questions.

Rep. Robert Pittenger Won’t Run Even if ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Probe Causes Primary Do-Over
Incumbent NC congressman lost GOP primary to Mark Harris, who is now under investigation by state board

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., won’t run for his seat again should fraud allegations against Mark Harris result in a new primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Should an investigation into fraud allegations in the race for North Carolina’s 9th District trigger a new primary contest, the incumbent won’t be a candidate.

Rep. Robert Pittenger — who was ousted in a May primary election that has attracted national attention for absentee ballot irregularities favorable to winner Mark Harris — said Monday that he won’t run again. 

GOP Could Ditch Mark Harris in Potential North Carolina Primary Re-Do
Republican state lawmakers have passed bill to hold new primary if elections board tosses initial results due to illegal tampering

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have raised the possibility of allowing their party to ditch 9th District candidate Mark Harris in a new primary election if the Nov. 7 results for his race are tossed out. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina have passed legislation that would allow the party to ditch Mark Harris in a new primary election for the 9th District seat if the state board of elections there decides to toss out the results of the Nov. 7 midterms.

Now the bill sits on Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

At the Races: Newsflash! GOP Women Call Their own Shots
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A House Race in North Carolina Gets Curiouser and Curiouser
Who knew the background checks for political work were so lax?

For a while it looked like Republican Mark Harris had squeaked out a win in the 9th District. But there’s something rotten in the state of North Carolina, Curtis writes. (John D. Simmons/AP file photo)

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Perhaps North Carolina’s 9th District will have a congressman by January; but maybe not.

You see, there seems to have been a mix-up in the count, distribution and collection of absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties, which make up part of the district — what the state elections board (made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and one independent) called “unfortunate activities” when it first refused to certify the results.

North Carolina Woman Admits to ‘Harvesting’ Ballots for Mark Harris Operative
State elections board officials delay certifying Harris’ victory over Democrat Dan McCready

Fall leaves frame the dome of the U.S. Capitol building on Nov. 8, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A North Carolina woman on Tuesday admitted to illegally “harvesting” ballots for a campaign operative working for GOP candidate Mark Harris in the race for the state’s 9th District U.S. House seat.

Ginger Eason, a Bladen County resident, told a reporter for WSOC-TV on Tuesday that she had done campaign work for Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., who paid her $75 to $100 per week to collect absentee ballots in the county and deliver them to him.