Mark Harris, Republican candidate in North Carolina's 9th congressional race, listens to testimony during a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th congressional district voting irregularities investigation Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)

The Latest: N. Carolina candidate's son warned methods shady

February 20, 2019 - 4:09 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing outlining a ballot fraud investigation in an undeclared North Carolina congressional race for which a winner hasn't been finalized (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

The son of the Republican in the country's last undecided congressional election says he warned his parents that he thought the North Carolina political operative accused of illegally collecting voter's ballots used shady methods and should be avoided.

John Harris testified Wednesday at a North Carolina elections board special hearing into ballot fraud allegations in the state's 9th congressional district. Republican Mark Harris led Democrat Dan McCready after November's election, but the race wasn't certified after allegations against a Harris contractor who focused on mail-in ballots in two rural counties.

John Harris said he warned his father even before Mark Harris launched his primary campaign that he didn't trust contractor Leslie McCrae Dowless. John Harris says he thinks Dowless lied about his methods and his parents believed him.

John Harris says he warned his parents through phone calls and emails.

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1:30 a.m.

The apparent Republican winner of the country's last undecided congressional election is expected to explain why he stuck with a North Carolina political operative with a shady track record that even the GOP candidate thought about protesting in the past.

North Carolina's elections board is expected to hear testimony on Wednesday from Mark Harris. He led Democrat Dan McCready after November's election, but the race wasn't certified after allegations against a Harris contractor who focused on mail-in ballots in two rural counties.

Harris said he sought out and hired Leslie McCrae Dowless because he delivered votes , including for a Republican rival in the 2016 GOP primary.

The elections board is expected to either declare Harris the winner in the 9th congressional district or order a new election after the multi-day hearing.

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