NC’s Mark Harris mounts another House campaign after 2018 scandal

In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, Mark Harris speaks to the media during a news conference in Matthews, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris announced Tuesday he will launch his third House campaign in the state, five years after facing election fraud allegations.

Harris will run in North Carolina’s 8th District, which is slated to be an open seat after Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), who currently represents the district, opted to run for state attorney general next year instead of seeking reelection.

In his campaign launch video, Harris echoed former President Trump’s false claims of election fraud, arguing that the 2018 election for House in the state’s 9th District was “stolen” from him.

“But I’m back and I’m not going anywhere,” he said in the video. “In 2020, Democrats stole the election from President Trump. The year before they did it to me. But in 2024 President Trump is making a comeback. And so am I.”

After votes were counted in the 2018 race, Harris appeared to be beating his Democratic opponent Dan McCready by 905 votes. But about a month after the election, officials began to raise questions about voting irregularities involving absentee ballots that favored Harris over McCready.

State officials ultimately scrapped the election results in 2019 after they uncovered a ballot fraud scheme that was allegedly operated by a contractor for Harris’s campaign and ordered a special election. Harris stepped aside, allowing Bishop to win over McCready by about 4,000 votes. 

Harris was not charged in the case, but the contractor was indicted in connection to the alleged scheme. The contractor died before the case went to trial.

Harris accused some Republicans of walking away from him when “things get tough” in his campaign launch video, adding that he is ready to have a “target” on his back.

“I am one of the few people who truly understands the extremes Democrats will go to in order to win and how some Republicans that are around when you’re on top, they’ll disappear when things get tough,” he said. “I know that by stepping up again, I am putting a huge target on my back. They will do whatever it takes to destroy me.”

Tags Dan Bishop Dan McCready Mark Harris Mark Harris North Carolina