North Carolina redo sets stage for copycat campaigns in 2020

OPINION — After an election fraud scandal, North Carolina Republicans lost a House candidate. After an indictment and questions about possible bribery, the state GOP lost its chair.

But all that didn’t stop a gaggle of Republicans from vying for the chance to run for a House seat that, thanks to gerrymandering, still favors their party — that is, of course, if voters stay interested in a special election that now will be decided on Sept. 10, if everything goes as planned.

Whatever happens, the race has offered a national blueprint for what voters will see in 2020, with the majority of Republicans clinging close to Donald Trump and trying to brand Democrats as far to the left as imagination allows. Meanwhile, Democrats proclaim their independence and ability to stand up to the president and his bending of constitutional norms while doing the other business of Congress and helping constituents.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Panthers May Move HQ To SC; New Candidates For 9th District

The news in the 9th Congressional District continues as candidate filing opened this week in the 9th District’s new race. This comes after the State Election Board ordered a new election because evidence of election fraud was uncovered. We’ll discuss the latest on who is putting their name in the hat.

We’ll also give you an update of the ongoing investigation into the 9th District, including new details from search warrants released this week.

Carolina Panthers Owner David Tepper went across state lines to meet with Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina this week, and McMaster says the state will be working on legislation to help the team to move its corporate headquarters and practice fields to the state. What implications will this have for the future of the team and the stadium in Charlotte, and what is Charlotte’s response?

In addition to a possible move, the Panthers say that Bank of America Stadium is overvalued by as much as $485 million and the value should be cut.

A nationwide college admissions cheating scheme was made public this week when dozens of people were charged with fraud at universities around the country. North Carolina was not immune, as Wake Forest University’s volleyball coach appeared on the list of those in the case.

Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins and a panel of journalists cover those stories and much more on the Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Ely Portillo, reporter for the Charlotte Observer

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

More arrested in 9th district election scandal, as GOP’s new slate still growing

CHARLOTTE, NC —

The dates for new elections in North Carolina’s 9th district House race have been set (at least if there are no runoffs). But the only thing certain in the Republican list of primary contenders is that Mark Harris won’t be running.

Meanwhile, in the election fraud scandal that caused last fall’s race to be thrown out and a new one called, Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative at its center is not the only person facing consequences. A Wake County grand jury indicted five people on charges related to the alleged scheme, and four have been arrested. (Mary C. Curtis)

GOP greets North Carolina election scandal with crickets, excuses and misdirection

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — America might know the name of the next president before voters in North Carolina’s 9th District have a representative in the House.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

But one sure thing is that Mark Harris, the Republican who thought he won last fall, attended an orientation for new members of Congress and was picking out an office — won’t be the new congressman. He cited health reasons in taking himself out of the race that has no end in sight.

What’s next in 9th Congressional District election after Mark Harris drops out?

CHARLOTTE, NC — Former pastor Mark Harris has certainly had a tough couple of months. In January, he was attending a meeting in Washington for new U.S. House members and picking out his office. And this week, he announced he will not run in a new election in the North Carolina’s 9th congressional district after the state election board, after hearings into allegations of election fraud, ordered a do-over. That throws the primary wide open, and leaves the district without representation for months.

Judge Denies Mark Harris’ Request to Be Certified

CHARLOTTE, NC — On Tuesday, a Wake County Superior Court judge turned down the request of Republican Mark Harris to certify him as the winner in his race against Democrat Dan McCready. “This is an extremely unusual situation, with no board in place,” said Judge Paul Ridgeway. He said asking the court to step in and declare the winner, when that is the authority of another branch of government, was inappropriate, especially in the middle of an ongoing investigation. (Mary C. Curtis)

9th District Race – No End in Sight

CHARLOTTE, NC —  Robert Pittenger will not run again in North Carolina’s 8th District U.S. House race.  At least that’s what he says.  And right now, that might be the only thing people know for sure about the contested contest roiled by accusations of election fraud and more plot twists than any movie.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Voter ID Is Law In NC; 9th District Still Unresolved; I-77 Tolls

On this edition of the Local News Roundup:

The disputed election in the 9th Congressional district is a long way from being resolved. The new Congress takes office on Jan. 3 and the citizens in the 9th district will not have representation. How long could it go on? We’ll discuss the state election board’s plans for a hearing after the new year. We’ll also talk about what McCrae Dowless’ attorney said this week about proving her client’s innocence.

Voter ID is now law in North Carolina after the house overrode Governor Cooper’s veto. The move was followed immediately by lawsuits challenging the law.

The opening of the new Interstate 77 toll lanes is delayed again. I-77 Mobility Partners says that the section of the project that was slated to open by the end of 2018 will now be pushed back to the first quarter of 2019, with the full 26-mile project complete by summer.

Another jobs announcement for Charlotte this week, with more than 1,200 jobs headed our way in the expansion of financial tech company AvidXChange. What kinds of jobs will they offer and what’s the expected impact on the Queen City? We’ll explore.

City Council voted to approve new equipment for the CMPD SWAT team totaling over $500,000. We’ll talk about what equipment was picked and why some council members opposed the purchase.

Charlotteans are remembering Jim Rogers, the former CEO and Chair of Duke Energy, who died at the age of 71 this week. We discuss what some are saying about his legacy.

And with the Panthers’ Monday Night Football loss to the Saints this week, our post-season chances are just about zero. Cam Newton is sidelined for the rest of the season due to injury. What might this mean for Ron Rivera and others next season?

Guest host Erik Spanberg from the Charlotte Business Journal will go through those stories, and much more with our roundtable of reporters on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Ann Doss Helms, reporter for theCharlotte Observer 

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Alex Olgin, reporter WFAE

More Drama in 9th District House Race

CHARLOTTE, NC — A new day, a new wrinkle in the contested and controversial 9th District U.S. House between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready. The latest: The North Carolina Republican Party is asking the state elections board to certify Mark Harris as the winner, if it cannot provide evidence that suspected election fraud, particularly in Bladen County, in the midterm would have changed the result. (Mary C. Curtis)

Of course, Democrats want to see the investigation finished. So, what’s next?

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

A House Race in North Carolina Gets Curiouser and Curiouser

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Perhaps North Carolina’s 9th District will have a congressman by January; but maybe not.

You see, there seems to have been a mix-up in the count, distribution and collection of absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties, which make up part of the district — what the state elections board (made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and one independent) called “unfortunate activities” when it first refused to certify the results.

For a while, it looked as though the Republican, former Baptist pastor Mark Harris, had beaten the Democrat, Marine veteran and businessman Dan McCready, by a mere 905 votes of about 280,000 cast in the gerrymandered district that may not exist after a court-ordered redraw. But now investigations, possible lawsuits and an absence of official results mean this particular 2018 race may not be decided until 2019.