While others mull, former NC Gov. Pat McCrory says he won’t run in the 9th District

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Monday took himself out of the running in 9th Congressional District, though other Republicans continued to lay the groundwork.

At least one is waiting for a decision from Republican Mark Harris, who has yet to announce his plans.

Last week the State Board of Elections unanimously ordered a new election following an investigation and hearing into allegations of election fraud in the 2018 campaign. No date has been set, though some election officials said a primary could be held in May.

The board’s decision came after Harris made a stunning reversal and himself called for a new election. He had claimed that his election should be certified after leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes after Election Day.

McCrory, a Republican, ruled out a race on his morning talk radio show, hours after a tweet that suggested he might run.

“My fire in the belly is teaching and being a radio host and keeping the option open of running for governor or senator (in 2022),” he told his listeners.

Harris could not be reached.

One would-be GOP candidate, former Sen. Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw, said he’s waiting for Harris to announce his own plans.

“I would love to hear what he plans to do, but I’m making preparations should he choose not to run,” Tucker said.

Sunday night McCrory sparked rumors of a 9th District run when he tweeted, “At 8:15am, I will be sharing my personal status on what is now the 9th district congressional election.”

Monday, he told listeners that he had contemplated a congressional run in 1994 when then-incumbent Alex McMillan retired. Instead he ran for mayor of Charlotte a year later.

“I had a dream of being in the U.S. Congress,” he said, “but my dream went in another direction.”

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Jim Morrill, who grew up near Chicago, covers state and local politics. He’s worked at the Observer since 1981 and taught courses on North Carolina politics at UNC Charlotte and Davidson College.