Republican Mark Harris said in an email to supporters Tuesday that he is not running in the new election for the 9th Congressional District. Harris said his recent health problems would have made it difficult to run.
"After consulting with my physicians, there are several things that my health situation requires as a result of the extremely serious condition that I faced in mid-January," Harris said. "One of those is a necessary surgery that is now scheduled for the last week in March."
"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.
Last week, Harris asked the North Carolina Board of Elections to call for a new election in the 9th Congressional District after four days of testimony about fraud committed by political consultant McCrae Dowless. Dowless was working for the Harris campaign.
[Related Content: Harris' Retreat Marks A Stunning Reversal]
In his announcement, Harris also endorsed Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing for the seat. Because of the state law passed last year, there will be party primaries in May – in addition to the general election, which is expected to be in September or October.
Even before Harris’s announcement, some Republicans were already saying they were considering a run – including former Mecklenburg Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour and former state senator Tommy Tucker of Union County. Robert Pittenger, who held the seat until January, has said he won’t run. Former Governor Pat McCrory also isn’t running.
Democrat Dan McCready, who trailed Harris by 905 votes, said Friday he is running again for the seat.