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GOP candidate says he made decision to hire ballot operative

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The GOP candidate in a disputed North Carolina congressional race says it was his decision to hire an operative who is now a person of interest in an investigation into how absentee ballots were handled.

Republican Mark Harris confirmed in an interview with WBTV in Charlotte Friday that he hired McCrae Dowless for his campaign, but added he had no idea Dowless was doing anything wrong.

The state elections board has declined to certify the 9th District results in light of mail-in absentee ballot irregularities in Bladen County and other issues in Robeson County. Unofficial returns show Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

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Information from: WBTV-TV, http://www.wbtv.com/

The Associated Press