Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris announced on Tuesday that he will not run again in North Carolina’s 9th district, after a new election was ordered in light of absentee ballot fraud in 2018.
According to The Hill, the pastor-turned-politician cited health reasons.
“Given my health situation, the need to regain full strength and the timing of this surgery the last week of March, I have decided not to file in the new election for Congressional District 9,” he said in a statement.
Harris has endorsed Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing.
Last year, Harris’ election was contested due to accusations of ballot tampering, after which an investigation culminated in calls for a new election.
At a North Carolina State Board of Elections hearing last week — following testimony his own son that he had warned his father about potential ballot fraud — Harris asked for a new election due to widespread feelings about the illegitimate nature of the last election.
“I believe a new election should be called,” Harris said. “It’s become clear to me that public confidence in the 9th District has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted.”
The Board of Elections voted unanimously for a new election.