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Attorney: Man at center of ballot controversy broke no laws

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2018, file photo, Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., poses for a portrait outside his home in Bladenboro, N.C. State investigators have described Dowless as a “person of interest” in their probe into 2018 voting irregularities involving absentee ballots. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, File)

BLADENBORO, N.C. (AP) — The attorney for a man at the center of a controversy in a disputed North Carolina congressional race said he hasn’t broken any campaign laws and ongoing investigations will prove it.

Attorney Cynthia Adams Singletary said in a statement Tuesday that any speculation regarding McCrae Dowless and the 9th District election is premature and unwarranted. Singletary said Dowless was “a highly respected member of our community who is routinely sought after for his campaign expertise.”

Republican candidate Mark Harris said in an interview last week that it was his decision to hire Dowless, who is the focus in an investigation into how absentee ballots were handled.

The state elections board has declined to certify the election results in light of mail-in absentee ballot irregularities in Bladen County and other issues in Robeson County.

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