NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Republican State Senator Dan Bishop is the unofficial winner of the election for North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, according to the Associated Press.
With all precincts reporting, Bishop had garnered 96,081 votes to Democrat Dan McCready’s 92,144, or 50.74% to 48.66%.
Libertarian Jeff Scott brought in 767 votes, while Green Party candidate Allen Smith received 371.
Results are unofficial until county elections boards canvass the results next week, but McCready conceded the win to Bishop Tuesday night.
After a lengthy investigation and four-day hearing, the board determined evidence showed there was a “coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme” being operated in Bladen and Robeson Counties.
At the center of the investigation was Bladen County resident McCrae Dowless, who has been indicted on felony election fraud charges for allegedly mishandling absentee by mail ballots, and directing his workers to do the same, in order to benefit the candidates he worked for.
Bishop celebrated his win Tuesday night in Charlotte, and received a call from President Donald Trump, who was in the district Monday night for a campaign event.
In Bladen County, the Election Day took place under the shadow of the investigation, but local officials said things went relatively well.
Early on, there were issues at the Turnbull precinct in Garland, with the tabulators jamming likely because of the humidity.
Bladen County elections staff said state law and protocol were followed in dealing with the issues, and a spokesperson for the state board said staff from Raleigh were in Bladen County to assist with any issues.
After results began to come in, county elections board member Patricia Sheppard said she and other board members were pleased with the turnout of roughly 25%.
“It was a great relief," she said. “I think most of us as board members were worried that, because of the bad publicity in Bladen County, a lot of people had lost confidence in the election process and might not come out, but the turnout was a lot better than we thought.”
"I think maybe we’re on our way to turning things around.”