North Carolina Republicans to Pick Candidate for Congress in Fraud-Tainted District

Republicans initially resisted calls for a new election, which began within weeks of the midterm vote. But after days of damning testimony before the State Board of Elections, during which Mr. Harris appeared to mislead regulators, party officials conceded that another campaign was inevitable.

State regulators quickly agreed and essentially reset the district’s 2018 election by reopening candidate qualifying and ordering primary and general elections. The Ninth District includes a sliver of Charlotte and runs eastward to rural areas like Bladen County, where the most well-documented misconduct took place.

Three of the district’s most prominent Republicans — Mr. Harris, former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Representative Robert M. Pittenger — declined to run in the new election. But the Republican field still quickly filled, and Democrats again coalesced around Mr. McCready.

In addition to Mr. Bishop and Mr. Rushing, candidates included Matthew Ridenhour, a former commissioner in Mecklenburg County, and Leigh Brown, a real estate agent. Along with registered Republicans, unaffiliated voters may cast ballots on Tuesday.

The winner, whether this week or in September, will take on a candidate who has been among the most celebrated in Democratic congressional politics in recent years. Although Republicans have held the House seat in the Ninth since the Kennedy administration, Mr. McCready proved a skilled candidate last year. During the drama before the regulators in Raleigh, he largely kept out of sight, leaving the most pointed of jabs to lawyers and Democratic campaign operatives.

Yet it was always clear that if the state ordered another vote, Mr. McCready would run again. The question was whether Mr. Harris would. By the end of February, Mr. Harris, who has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing, cited health reasons and said he would skip another campaign.

Mr. Dowless, who has been indicted in connection with voter-turnout efforts in the 2016 general election and the 2018 primary, has remained a subject of official investigation and public curiosity. On the first day of early voting, local news outlets reported, Mr. Dowless went to cast his ballot in Bladen County.

He was first in line.

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