The Lead

Gov. Wolf’s campaign wants to raise $20k for Democrat in North Carolina congressional race

By: - February 27, 2019 2:54 pm

Now that it doesn’t have to worry about raising cash for re-election, Gov. Tom Wolf’s campaign apparatus is looking for other places to flex its fundraising muscles.

Mission accomplished?

In a Tuesday email blast, Wolf’s campaign asked supporters to help them raise $20,000 by Thursday at midnight so that Democrat Dan McCready’s campaign can meet a fundraising deadline in North Carolina’s topsy-turvy 9th Congressional District.

That’s where local officials have called a new special election amid allegations of election fraud by the campaign of Republican Mark Harris. Harris declared himself the winner in that race. But he was never seated in the new session of Congress, according to published  reports.

Some additional background, from NPR:

“Harris appeared to have a 905-vote lead over … McCready. But then the state declined to certify the race after allegations surfaced that an operative Harris had employed, McCrae Dowless, was illegally collecting absentee ballots.

“Voters came forward to say that Dowless or people working for him had picked up their absentee ballots, which is illegal in North Carolina, and that they worked to avoid the State Board of Elections from finding out.

“Harris had maintained since Election Day that he didn’t know about any wrongdoing. But after emotional testimony from one of his sons during a four-day hearing of the State Board of Elections last week cast doubt on his denials, the former Baptist pastor finally acknowledged a new election was necessary.”

On Tuesday, citing health concerns, Harris said he would not run in the special election. He’s thrown his support to a local Republican county commissioner, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.

In the email, Wolf’s campaign sounded the ominous warning that “Republican operatives didn’t just try to steal an election in North Carolina – they stole votes,” and that “If we want to stop Republican election-rigging for good — we must help [McCready] win this race.”

A win by McCready would show that “our blue wave,” which started with a special election win by U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb last year “is still building — and that we won’t let Republican voter suppression stand in our way,” Wolf’s campaign wrote.

The special election is set for October, with a primary in May, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.