Mark Harris’ road to Congress just got a little more difficult. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos put $10 million in a Charlotte-based super PAC called With Honor. The PAC supports veterans running for Congress from both parties. However, CEO Rye Barcott, who co-founded the PAC, is Dan McCready’s business partner. McCready is the Democrat and Iraq War veteran running against Harris to replace Robert Pittenger in NC-09.
While the PAC has a lot of endorsed candidates, McCready’s race has attracted national attention. McCready has substantially out-raised Harris, who defeated Pittenger in the GOP primary in May. Recent polls have McCready leading Harris in the district. Now, McCready has a big money backer that could make the race very expensive for Republicans.
For Harris, the announcement couldn’t have come at a worse time. Now that Labor Day is over, political committees are determining who they will help and who they will abandon. The NRCC is already starting to abandon incumbents. It will be difficult for them to cut support for a sitting Member of Congress and support a candidate in an open seat with as much baggage as Harris.
As an evangelical preacher, Harris told his congregations over the years that women should submit to their husbands because it’s the will of God and, besides, it will save money in marriage counselling. Those stories have been leaking out all summer. The best of the opposition research is almost surely yet to come.
In addition, Harris is a lousy fit for the largest population center in the district, southeast Charlotte. Those people have been voting conservative because they’re pro-business, pro-free trade and anti-tax. They’ve got little use for the populist wing of the GOP that Harris has embraced. A lot of those voters will cross party lines to vote for a businessman and entrepreneur who looks and talks like them regardless of his party affiliation.
McCready starts the post Labor Day push with a cash advantage, a polling advantage and, now, some part of $10 million behind him. As the political environment continues to deteriorate for Republicans, they’ll be cutting their losses. Expect Harris to be one of the casualties.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >