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Harris announces new congressional run

Mark Harris announced Tuesday that he will be running for Congress again. Campaign photo

ROCKINGHAM — A familiar candidate announced Tuesday morning that he would again be seeking a congressional seat.

The Rev. Mark Harris will again be running for the U.S House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District, which includes most of Richmond County.

According to a press release, Harris made the decision to run again after Rep. Dan Bishop, R, who currently represents the district, announced his intent to run for state attorney general.

Click here to read about Bishop’s AG run from the Carolina Journal.

Bishop was elected to the then-9th District seat in 2019 in a special election following the fallout of an evidentiary hearing by the N.C. State Board of Elections regarding allegations of election fraud in Bladen County by Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was hired by the Harris campaign.

“After seeing first hand the manufactured scandal that resulted in the Democrat controlled State Board of Elections not certifying our victory in 2018, I am one of the few people who truly understands the extremes Democrats will go to in order to advance their woke, leftist agenda,” Harris said in a statement.

“I fully expect a flurry of lies and rumors from both Democrats and some from my own party. But as these political games play out, I’m focused on the glaring realities of today: the constant climb of of daily living costs, a southern border that remains open, and hardworking Americans suffering from Bidenomics,” Harris added. “As a pastor, father, and grandfather, I’m dedicated to prioritizing these challenges for the sake of our nation.”

Harris defeated incumbent Robert Pittenger in the 2018 Republican primary and went on to face Democrat Dan McCready, Libertarian Jeff Scott and Green Party candidate Allen Smith in the election.


After Election Day, only 905 votes separated Harris from McCready. But the state elections board failed to certify those votes in late November due to claims of voting irregularities in Bladen County.

McCready initially conceded the race to Harris, but withdrew a month later.

Dowless was arrested and charged in the scandal, but died in 2022. Harris was cleared of any wrongdoing.

A new election was ordered, but Harris, citing health concerns, dropped out of the race in February 2019, after the seat had been vacant for nearly two months.

Following another Republican primary with 10 candidates — several of whom didn’t live in the district — Bishop went on to defeat McCready.
“As Mark’s campaign manager in 2018, I witnessed the Democrats methodically steal this election,” Jason Williams said in a statement. “They misrepresented and withheld important information that would have vindicated Mark, all while doing the bidding of Democrat super attorney, Marc Elias. The fact that Mark is willing to come forward and run again shows his commitment to serving this nation.”

The General Assembly redrew the districts and Richmond County is now split between the 8th and 9th congressional districts. Rep. Richard Hudson represents the 9th Congressional District.

The RO is currently unaware of any other candidates for the race.

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