North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District Still Undecided, Hearing Set for February 19

New members of the North Carolina State Board of Elections are now in place, but the state’s 9th Congressional District winner has still not been made official.

A winner may be named soon, as the newly appointed North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) members announced they will hold a hearing on the 9th Congressional issue on Monday, February 18th.

The new NCSBE members, which were confirmed by the state legislature, are Stella Anderson (D), David Black (R), Jeff Carmon III (D), Bob Cordle (D), and Ken Raymond (R).

The NC Republican Party had originally put forth the names of Colonel Francis Deluca, Eldon ‘Buck’ Newton III, Stacy Eggers IV, and Edwin Woodhouse, Jr.

Governor Cooper said that two of the NC GOP’s picks, Deluca and Newton, needed to be disqualified due to engaging in electioneering within a 48-month window of their nomination.

Governor Cooper’s original list included Democrats Greg Flynn and Valerie Johnson. Both were disqualified for the same reason Cooper had used to removed two Republican candidates – electioneering. Democrats Bill Bell and Jeff Carmon replaced Flynn and Johnson.

Of interest concerning the new NCSBE board is that former chairman Joshua Malcolm is not on it.

North Carolina Republicans cried foul over Malcolm being picked earlier this year by Governor Cooper.

Malcolm, a Democrat, failed to disclose his frequent pre-2018 election day communication with Jens Lutz, the former vice chairman of the Bladen County Board of Elections before Lutz resigned that position. Bladen County is the district where the absentee ballot issue involving Dowless McRae and the 9th Congressional district race arose late in 2018.

In addition, Malcolm didn’t disclose his daughter’s work for the North Carolina Democratic Party, and alleged work with the Dan McCready Campaign by family members. Malcolm’s wife was also a campaign donor to Governor Cooper.

Republican Mark Harris won the 9th Congressional race last November by over 900 votes. Harris’ opponent, Democrat Dan McCready conceded. McCready later withdrew his concession after the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) announced the race was not going to be certified pending an investigation into absentee ballot irregularities.

To complicate matters, the structure of the North Carolina elections board was ruled unconstitutional in October in state court. Governor Cooper then attempted to illegally appoint new board members back in December. The General Assembly was prompted to create a new board which would be active beginning January 31 once appointments made by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper were confirmed.

In January, Harris filed a Writ of Mandamus in hopes the courts would force the state to certify the election, however, the judge didn’t see it that way. The judge in the case ruled to wait for the new NCSBE to be put into place.

“Certification is not appropriate until the investigation into the protest is concluded,” North Carolina Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said in his ruling.

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A.P. Dillon is the North Carolina Bureau Chief for The Tennesee Star and a reporter at Battleground State News. Follow A.P. Dillon on Twitter. Email Tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Harris” by Mark Harris. Background Photo “North Carolina Capital” by Ron Cogswell. CC BY 2.0.







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