ROCKINGHAM — The race for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District may not yet be over.
The Rev. Mark Harris, one of the men who challenged Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, in yesterday’s primary election says he will be asking for a recount.
“The voters of the 9th Congressional District have spoken: it’s time for a change in Washington,” Harris said in a statement to the Daily Journal on Wednesday. “We owe it to the voters of the 9th District to make sure this is done right and make sure every last voice is heard.”
According to numbers with the N.C. State Board of Elections, Pittenger garnered 9,268 votes (34.69 percent) and Harris received 9,126 votes (34.42 percent).
The room was tense – it was truly a rollercoaster of emotions,” said Mark Knoop from the Harris campaign. “Mark Harris won Election Day voting by about 350 votes, which is a testament to voters’ rejection of false attacks and Mark’s positive message.”
Connie Kelly, Richmond County elections director, said Harris is entitled to a recount because the margin between the votes was less than 1 percent. She said he must file by noon next Thursday.
Kelly said the office received calls from both campaigns on Wednesday asking about the provisional and absentee ballots.
In Richmond County, there were 1,161 total ballots cast, including early voting, provisionals and absentees, she said.
“This is America. It is a right to request a recount,” said Larry Shaheen, with the Pittenger camp. “We have a highly modern and professional election process in North Carolina. There are exceptionally few ballots remaining to be counted so our campaign remains confident that Congressman Pittenger will be confirmed as the winner of this primary. We need to put this election behind us and focus efforts on defeating the liberal agenda.”
Todd Johnson, a Union County businessman whose insurance company has offices throughout the district, received 8,118 votes (30.62 percent).
Johnson carried Richmond, Scotland Anson, Bladen and his home county of Union.
In Richmond County, Johnson received 284 votes, Harris 222 and Pittenger 115.
The votes will be canvassed Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.