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Mark Harris won't seek North Carolina House seat after fraud inquiry

Mark Harris, North Carolina’s 9th district Republican candidate at a campaign rally last year.
Mark Harris, North Carolina’s 9th district Republican candidate at a campaign rally last year. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Mark Harris, the North Carolina Republican U.S. House candidate whose campaign was at the center of a ballot-fraud inquiry, announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday that he will not run in the special election for the 9th congressional district race, citing personal health reasons.

Backstory: Harris held an unofficial 905-vote lead over his Democratic opponent, but the North Carolina State Board of Elections declined to certify him as a winner last year due to claims of "numerous" absentee voting irregularities. The board last week ordered a new election after its probe found that a political operative working on behalf of Harris had coordinated an "unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme," including cover-up efforts.