CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hurricane Florence has become an issue in a North Carolina congressional race.

As 9th District Democratic candidate Dan McCready announced he was suspending his campaign during the storm, The Charlotte Observer reports Republican rival Mark Harris has bought more local cable television ad time on The Weather Channel to run in the coming days.

Harris consultant Jordan Shaw called McCready's campaign suspension a "transparent gimmick designed to score political points by taking advantage of a dangerous situation." But Andrew Bates with the liberal-leaning super PAC American Bridge said Harris' decision to buy ads as Florence approached reflected the campaign's "rotten values."

Harris, McCready and Libertarian Jeff Scott are running for the seat currently held by Robert Pittenger, who lost in the GOP primary to Harris.