Tuesday, 12 March 2019 19:13

McCready becomes 4th candidate to file for 9th District special election

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Democrat Dan McCready posted a video to Twitter after filing for the 9th District special election on Tuesday. Democrat Dan McCready posted a video to Twitter after filing for the 9th District special election on Tuesday.

ROCKINGHAM — Democrat Dan McCready was the only candidate to file for the 9th Congressional District special election on Tuesday, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections.


McCready, a retired Marine, is the fourth candidate to officially throw his proverbial hat in the ring since filing opened Monday.

“OK, it’s official,” he said holding his paperwork in a video posted to Twitter. “I’ve signed my name and am running in North Carolina’s 9th District for the special election. Let’s go do this.”

McCready, who defeated Christian Cano in last year’s Democratic primary, came in 905 votes behind election front runner Republican Mark Harris in November.

The 9th Congressional District includes Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Union counties, as well as parts of Mecklenburg, Bladen and Cumberland counties.

The only two counties to predominantly favor Harris were Union and Bladen. McCready won the majority in Richmond, Anson, Scotland, Robeson, Cumberland and Mecklenberg counties. 

The race was closest in Richmond County with McCready leading by only 2 percent or 281 votes.

However, the state board refused to certify the results after allegations were made regarding election fraud over absentee ballots in Bladen County.

Following an evidentiary hearing, cut short by Harris, the board called for a special election.

Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was hired by Harris’ campaign for get-out-the-vote efforts was arrested and charged with three counts of felony obstruction of justice, two counts of conspiracy to commit felony obstruction of justice, and two counts of possession of an absentee ballot stemming from the 2016 and 2018 elections.

Harris, who defeated incumbent now-former Rep. Robert Pittenger in the Republican primary, decided not to run in the special election due to health reasons. The Carolina Journal reported that Harris said had gone to the hospital in January with what he thought was bronchitis, developed an infection and had two strokes.

While McCready could be challenged from within his own party, state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin previously told the RO that he was unaware of anyone planning to do so.

The only other candidate from the original race, Libertarian Jeff Scott filed on Monday.

Scott, who received only 5,130 votes, has been critical of McCready for refusing to answer questions of substance.

He was a guest Tuesday morning on Good Morning Sandhills, speaking on several issues including banking and foreign policy.

Also filing on the first day were two Union County Republicans: County Commissioner Stony Rushing of Wingate; and former state legislator Fern Shubert of Marshville.

Shubert was elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in 1994, 1996 and 2000 and to the state Senate in 2002, according to Ballotpedia. She also ran unsuccessful campaigns for governor in 2004, state Senate in 2010 and state auditor in 2012.

Rushing, who was endorsed by Harris, served on the Union County Board of Commissioners from 2002-2006 and was elected again in 2014, according to the county’s website.

Several other Republicans have announced their intent to run including: former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour; and Fayetteville businesswoman Stevie Rivenbark, who made her announcement via YouTube last Monday.

Wake County Republican David Blackwelder had planned to run, but the Charlotte Observer reports he decided against it.

The U.S. Constitution doesn’t require members of the U.S. House of Representatives to live in the district they’re elected to represent, only the state.

Former Charlotte mayor and governor Pat McCrory said he would not run, hinting instead at a possible shot at the U.S. Senate when Sen. Richard Burr retires.

Union County GOP Chairman Dan Barry has also decided to pass up the chance to go to Washington, as has former state Sen. Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw, who defeated Shubert in the 2010 Republican primary.

Clarence Goins Jr., who was the only candidate in the original race not from Mecklenburg County, previously told the RO that he hadn’t ruled out running again.

The race is also open to the Green and Constitution parties, which were recognized by the state last year.

The seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has been vacant for more than three months. Congress was sworn in Jan. 3.

Filing ends on Friday.