• Outgoing Rep. Robert Pittenger: 'I will not be a candidate in a possible primary election'

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    Outgoing U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger announced he will not run if there is a new primary election in North Carolina's 9th District. 

    In Pittenger's statement, he discussed his time in Congress, including his focus on national security issues and his position as Chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum. 

    [Special Section: District 9 investigation]

    [District 9 Investigation: Mark Harris to meet with state Board of Elections]

    Pittenger's announcement comes days before a meeting that addressed allegations of election fraud. 


    FULL STATEMENT: 

    "As a Member of Congress for the last six years, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of serving the 9th Congressional District. Regardless of the determination of the evidentiary hearing, I will not be a candidate in a possible primary election.

    During my tenure in Congress, I focused on national security issues to protect our homeland. During this time, I have organized and hosted 12 Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forums in Washington, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Vienna and Riga, involving over 800 Members of Parliament and government officials from 80 countries.   100 plus leading security experts from the government and private sector, including Treasury and Intelligence officials, and experts from Bank of America and SAS, have addressed these Forums.

    On December 6th, we hosted 300 Members of Parliament from 80 countries in Washington,  who were briefed by these experts on counter terror finance, cyber security, Intelligence sharing, block chain currencies and predatory foreign investments.  In 2019, as Chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum, we have briefings already planned in Paraguay, Israel, Togo, Europe and Asia,  as we build stronger collaboration in our alliance to defeat global Islamic jihad."


     

    Pittenger would have plenty of reason to challenge his defeat in the primary election against Mark Harris. He lost in Bladen County by 855 votes, while the man at the center of the absentee ballot fraud investigation, McCrae Dowless, was working for Harris.

    “Pretty tawdry fella,” Pittenger said. “I was told about him by multiple people.”

    Pittenger said Dowless approached him in 2016 and asked to work for his campaign.

    “After spending maybe four or five minutes with him, I made a quick decision,” Pittenger said. “’No, I really don't need you on my team.’ It was pay-for-play and it was really clear what he was about.”

    He's hoping someone else will finally get to the bottom of the election controversy he's leaving behind. 

    “It doesn't speak well of us in North Carolina at all,” Pittenger said. “We should never have tolerated it, and I'm glad that it's come to a head now.”

    Pittenger is frustrated that the process of seating a new congressman could take months leaving many people in the 9th District without a voice in Congress.

    Pittenger will lead international forums on terrorism and cybersecurity.  

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