After months of trying to convince North Carolinians and the State Board of Elections that his victory in the 9th Congressional District was legitimate, Mark Harris did an about-face and called for a new election at the tail end of a multi-day hearing that was investigating the fraud in his campaign.
The State Board unanimously agreed with Harris, so we’ve got a “do-over” coming up in southern North Carolina. The question has arisen whether Harris will run again. After all, he’d be the favorite in a special election against Democrat Dan McCready, despite all that’s happened.
Harris won’t run again, and the reason is weight:
Politics is a cutthroat, vicious game. At times, it can turn into a disease, and the disease (like cancer, alcoholism, or depression) has a way of affecting everyone around it. Real values are put on hold for a few months in an “ends justify the means” game to get elected. After all, we’re the ones fighting for what’s right, right?
Harris’s son stood up to the game at the Board of Elections hearing and said, “enough!” He testified under oath that he warned his father about McRae Dowless’s history, contradicting his father’s story that he didn’t know about the man’s past or that his ballot scheme was illegal. Harris, overwhelmed, cried at the end of his son’s testimony:
This isn’t something you see everyday, and it was good political theater for state and national news. But this wasn’t acting. This was a man calling out his father, asking him if he wants to win at all costs, asking him if he’s willing to go that far, and perhaps more importantly, whether he practices what he preaches.
In short, this was weight, and you saw it all come down on a man, a father and a Minister. And then he gave into it:
“I believe a new election should be called,” Harris said. “It has become clear to me that the public’s confidence in the 9th District’s general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted.”
Harris, citing recent strokes and other health concerns said he isn’t sure what he will do.
You can almost feel that weight, can’t you?
It’s too much for any decent man to carry.