NC-9: Further Moves
North Carolina Republicans appear resigned to the eventuality that the 9th District will host a new election. Considering the election fraud allegations that kept GOP candidate Mark Harris’ 905-vote victory on November 6th from being officially certified, the Republican nominee’s standing has clearly been damaged. Therefore, a rerun campaign featuring himself, Democrat Dan McCready, and Libertarian Jeff Scott, would likely result in another GOP loss.
Attempting to divert what appears to be a figurative oncoming train, Republicans in the state legislature passed a new election law that will require an open partisan primary as part of a broad legislative package to reform the controversial State Board of Elections. With bipartisan approval (79-19 in the House and 34-3 in the Senate), the bill has a good chance of winning Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) support but he has not yet signaled he will sign the bill. With such margins, however, even a Cooper veto might not stop the legislation from becoming law.
The special primary provision will allow the Republicans the opportunity of choosing an alternative candidate to improve their special election prospects. Under current law, the Board of Elections can only order a rerun of the affected contest, meaning the general vote in this case that would place just Harris, McCready, and Scott on the ballot. The new procedure would allow anyone to enter an open partisan primary. A run-off, if no one received 40% of the vote in either party primary, would then be held prior to a special general election.
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