In the midst of all of this, the Democrat who narrowly lost the race, former Marine veteran and renewables investor Dan McCready, has announced he is retracting his concession and vowed to fight for answers.
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. The state elections board will hold hearings this month as it looks into accusations that campaign workers for the Republican stole absentee ballots.
The Democrat's withdrawal comes weeks after he conceded to Harris following the 2018 midterm elections. The margin was cut by half the next week, but he declined to seek a recount.
"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.
Speaking prior to the publication of the Post's report, Woodhouse was adamant that the one person who was unaware of what Dowless was up to was candidate Mark Harris.
Colbert described the fraud allegations like this: volunteers for the Republican went door to door collecting the absentee ballots (which would already be illegal in North Carolina). State election officials rejected that - while noting an absentee-voting irregularity that appeared to be linked to Dowless.
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A state election board spokesman confirmed Thursday that subpoenas seeking documents had been sent to the Harris campaign, the firm serving as Harris' chief strategist and the campaign committee of the sitting Bladen sheriff.
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 has a felony criminal record. "And I call on Mark Harris to tell us exactly what he knew and when he knew it".
The board also got a rash of calls from residents who said that canvassers told them their voter registration had been canceled, Stone said, and he alerted the North Carolina State Board of Elections of the irregularities this summer. "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".
If the District 9 race is not certified by the state board, the leaders of the U.S. House can select either Harris or McCready to fill the seat, Stone said.
Entertaining the idea of a new election represents a significant change from last Thursday, when state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes issued a statement saying: "Democrats are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at the wall to try and steal an election".
Nearly a month after Republican Mark Harris declared victory in his North Carolina race for the U.S. House of Representatives, the state's election board is declining to certify the result as it probes mail-in ballots from two rural counties that have been called into question.