RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Mark Harris announced Tuesday he will not seek the congressional seat for North Carolina’s 9th District citing his “health situation.”
Harris said he consulted with physicians who called for him to undergo surgery which is now scheduled for 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,” Harris said in a statement.
The state elections board last week ordered a new election in the district after hearing evidence that a political operative working for Harris may have illegally collected mail-in ballots.
Harris, a Republican, led Democrat Dan McCready by just 905 votes. But the state refused to certify the outcome.
During those hearings in front of the state board, Harris said he suffered a stroke in January that affected his ability to properly recall certain events.
On Monday, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said he would not run for the seat, saying he is holding out to run for governor again or the U.S. Senate.
Following Harris’ statement, NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes has released a statement that read in part:
“The North Carolina Republican Party fully supports Dr. Harris’ decision. The most important thing for him to address is his health. This has been a grueling process for all involved, and we unequivocally support his call for a new election.”
Hayes went on to say systematic failures of the State Boards, county boards, investigators, and prosecutors will need to be fixed in order to “restore confidence in our electoral system.”
This story will be updated.