by Anna Manning
Carolina Journal‘s Dan Way reports:
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Harris testified Wednesday he warned his father, Republican U.S. Rep.-elect Rev. Mark Harris, it was unwise to hire Bladen County political operative McCrae Dowless.
But his parents shunned his advice.
Mark Harris is in a legal skirmish to be seated in Congress. In the third day of a State Board of Elections evidentiary hearing, opposing lawyers argued Mark Harris either is naïve and too trusting — or so politically ambitious he would hire Dowless without considering his criminal background and sketchy electioneering history.
“I was right, unfortunately for all of us,” the 29-year-old John Harris said of his parents’ decision to defer to those who vouched for Dowless’ integrity, and the promises Dowless made to run a clean and legal absentee vote-getting operation. “I think they were lied to, and they believed the person who lied to them,” John Harris said of his parents.
Mark Harris unofficially defeated Democrat Dan McCready on Nov. 6 by 905 votes in the 9th U.S. Congressional District election. The results haven’t been certified due to allegations of widespread absentee by-mail voting misdeeds Dowless engineered in Bladen and Robeson counties.
Mark Harris is expected to testify Thursday in an attempt to persuade the elections board to certify him the winner in the last undecided congressional election in the country. The board could order a new election after investigators uncovered a series of irregularities witnesses have testified about since Monday. Or it could deadlock, forcing the U.S. House of Representatives to handle the dispute.
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