Former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory ruled out running in the state’s 9th Congressional District on Monday after a new election was ordered in the wake of allegations of widespread ballot tampering last year.
After hinting on Twitter over the weekend that he might enter the race, McCrory (R) said on his radio show Monday that he would look at running again for governor or for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022 instead.
“My fire in the belly is teaching and being a radio host and keeping the option open of running for governor or senator,” he said on WBT Radio.
North Carolina election officials ordered a new contest last week in the 9th district, ending a dramatic months-long investigation focused on irregularities with mail-in ballots.
The board voted unanimously to throw out the November results between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.
Harris, an evangelical minister from Charlotte, was under scrutiny for hiring a political operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., who allegedly assembled a crew of election workers to illegally collect, fill out and forge mail-in ballots in two rural counties.
Harris, who had led by 905 votes in unofficial returns, has not said whether he plans to run again.
McCready began a new campaign for the seat Friday.
The 9th district, stretching along the South Carolina border from Charlotte to eastern North Carolina, is home to the last undecided congressional race from the 2018 cycle.
In a tweet over the weekend, McCrory wrote that he had “received an enormous number of calls” about running for the seat from “friends, reporters and political operatives from our state and Washington, D.C.”
After serving a four-year term, McCrory lost his reelection bid in 2016 to Democrat Roy Cooper, who was then North Carolina’s attorney general.