The North Carolina Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday to set the dates for the re-do congressional race in the ninth district, an election that was originally tainted by absentee ballot fraud.
The new primary will be held May 14 and the general election will follow on September 10. If a second primary is required, it will be held September 10 and the general on November 5.
Filing begins next week.
Two smaller races that were affected by the ballot fraud, those for Bladen county commissioner and soil and water conservation district supervisor, will be held May 14.
“We’re going to have an open primary that anyone can enter,” said chairman Robert Cordle when asked about former Republican candidate Mark Harris’ decision to bow out of the new race.
Harris opted out of the new election soon after days of explosive hearings during which his son John testified that his father knew about campaign operative McCrae Dowless’ absentee ballot scheme and hired him anyway.
Dowless has since been indicted on seven charges related to the theft and alteration of ballots in the 2018 race, as well as a Republican primary in 2016.
Dan McCready, the Democrat who ran against Harris initially, immediately threw his name into the new race. He has been vigorously fundraising with the help of Democratic leadership hopeful that the tarnished Harris campaign will leave its stain on any Republicans who tries to take his place.