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RALEIGH — North Carolina Republicans aim to pass a law making clear new primary races also would be held for an unsettled congressional race next year if the state elections board orders a new election.

GOP legislators unveiled Tuesday a proposal that also keeps the current board in place to investigate absentee ballot irregularities in the 9th Congressional District until the probe finishes. The nine-member board would otherwise cease to exist as of Wednesday because of litigation unrelated to the 9th District.

Unofficial results show Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

State law directs primaries be held when there's a U.S. House vacancy. State Rep. David Lewis says holding new primaries makes sense because it appears absentee ballots were an issue during last May's primaries in the district.

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