CHARLOTTE – Falling just 134 votes shy of Congressman Robert Pittenger in the June 2016 Republican Primary, the Rev. Mark Harris did what came naturally for him over 30 years of ministry. He prayed.
Staff and members of First Baptist Charlotte approached Harris, asking the senior pastor how they should pray on his behalf. He told them to pray for him to be rid of this burden for our country.
“Not only did it not go away – the burden – but it has intensified over time,” Harris said.
Harris and his wife, Beth, began discussing in May what another congressional race would mean for their lives. He outlined a 90-day transition plan with his congregation July 2 that would have him resign to focus on the campaign.
“What makes them unique is they have been so understanding of the why,” Harris said of his church of 12 years. “I did not want to put them through another race.”
One of his greatest concerns is the national debt reaching $20 trillion.
“The scary part for me is once you become an establishment Republican, as Congressman Pittenger has demonstrated, it doesn’t really matter if you got an R or a D by your name,” Harris said. “You’re still supporting the growth of government.”
Harris believes Pittenger is among those in Congress that haven’t done enough to support Trump’s agenda.
He’s disappointed in Congress’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“We feel like the mood of the people in the 9th District and the country is not going to be one of tossing in the towel but still truly trying for change,” Harris said.
He believes the 9th District needs a courageous leader, one that refuses to accept process as an excuse.
Pittenger’s strongest support in the 2016 primary came from Mecklenburg County, where he had a 1,844-vote edge over Harris. Pittenger came in third in each of the district’s seven other counties.
Harris hopes to rely on the network built during the last election, as well as the uprising among voters this time around.
“I bring to the table a desire to stand truly for the people of the 9th District rather than being worried about the next election,” Harris said.
Want to learn more?
Visit www.markharrisforcongress.com to learn more about his upbringing and get involved in his campaign.