Mark Harris (North Carolina politician)

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Mark Harris
Personal details
Born (1966-04-24) April 24, 1966 (age 52)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Beth
Children 3
Education Appalachian State University (BA)
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv, DMin)

Mark Harris (born April 24, 1966)[1] is an American politician and pastor from the state of North Carolina. He is the Republican Party nominee for the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina's 9th congressional district.

Early life[edit]

Harris is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Appalachian State University and both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.[2]


Harris served as the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina,[3] and as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.[4]

Harris ran for the United States Senate in the 2014 election, finishing in third place in the Republican primary behind Thom Tillis and Greg Brannon.[2] He later ran against incumbent congressman Robert Pittenger for the U.S. House in 2016. The election was close; after a recount, Pittenger was certified the winner by 134 votes.[5]

Harris resigned from the First Baptist Church in 2017[6] and ran again for the U.S. House in 2018,[7] this time defeating Pittenger in the Republican primary, which featured a higher turnout than the 2016 primary.[8] During the 2018 campaign, American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic super PAC that conducts opposition research, brought attention to a 2013 sermon that Harris had given where he questioned whether it was the "healthiest pursuit" for women to prioritize their careers and independence over their biblical "core calling."[9]

Political positions[edit]


Harris opposes the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, which prohibits bans on abortion.[9]

Federal budget[edit]

Harris has stated that he would support a Balanced Budget Amendment and cited concern over what was at the time $19 trillion in debt and $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities.[10]


He has stated that the Affordable Care Act has made healthcare more costly for businesses.[10]

Social issues[edit]

Harris led supporters of North Carolina Amendment 1, which banned same-sex marriage in North Carolina in 2012.[11][12] The amendment was found to be unconstitutional by a federal court in 2014, and prohibitions on same-sex marriage were found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2015.[9] After the Supreme Court ruling, Harris said, "one of the most devastating blows to the American way of life has been the breakdown of the family unit. A marriage consists of one man and one woman. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision decided otherwise."[9]

Harris campaigned for the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (commonly known as the "bathroom bill") in North Carolina in 2016, which stated that in government buildings, individuals (such as students at state-operated schools) may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex identified on their birth certificate.[9] The bill sparked a widespread backlash and boycott, including by major U.S. firms.[9] Amid the backlash, Harris adamantly argued against repealing the bill.[9] The bill was eventually repealed and replaced with House Bill 142 on March 30, 2017.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Harris and his wife, Beth, have three children and six grandchildren.[2]


  1. ^ A quick look at Mark Harris, a Republican candidate for US Senate in North Carolina
  2. ^ a b c Funk, Tim (May 20, 2016). "Pastor Mark Harris feels called to new kind of leadership". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Shiles, Bob (July 28, 2017). "Harris stumps on 'faith, family'". The Robesonian. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  4. ^ Trygstad, Kyle. "Conservative Preacher Joins North Carolina Senate Primary". Roll Call. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  5. ^ Morrill, Jim (June 20, 2016). "Recount confirms Robert Pittenger's win in the 9th District". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Westerand, Jane (June 11, 2017). "First Baptist's Mark Harris to step aside as he considers another bid for Congress". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Murphy, Brian (July 31, 2017). "Pittenger challenger | Mark Harris running again Robert Pittenger again | News & Observer". Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  8. ^ Morrill, Jim (April 5, 2018). "Mark Harris leading Robert Pittenger in NC 9th District". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g News, A. B. C. (2018-07-05). "Congressional candidate once asked if careers were 'healthiest pursuit' for women". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  10. ^ a b Friedman, Corey (April 13, 2016). "U.S. House candidate Mark Harris shares vision, seeks support". The Robesonian. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Morrill, Jim (April 16, 2014). "US Senate candidate Mark Harris became leader in church, North Carolina marriage fight". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  12. ^ The Associated Press. Christian group wants marriage ban preserved. Winston-Salem Journal. Sep 30, 2014
  13. ^ Fausset, Richard (March 30, 2017). "Bathroom Law Repeal Leaves Few Pleased in North Carolina". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2017.

External links[edit]