Murphy, Perry likely in GOP runoff for special Congressional election

Greg Murphy, Joan Perry

Republican voters will likely be headed back to the polls in July to decide who will be their nominee in the special election to fill the open Third Congressional District seat.

Meanwhile, Democrats and Libertarians have apparently decided who will be the candidates they hope will be the replacement for late-Rep. Walter Jones, Jr.

With all precincts reporting, state Rep. Greg Murphy, a surgeon from Greenville, had 22.54 percent of the vote, followed by Joan Perry, a Kinston physician, with 15.44 percent in the Republican primary unofficial results.

Allen Thomas

A total of 17 candidates were on the GOP ballot Tuesday, including three from Currituck County: commissioners Paul Beaumont (1.84 percent) and Mike Payment (1.27 percent), and physician Kevin Baiko (0.4 percent).

On the Democratic side, which had eight candidates running, former Greenville mayor Allen Thomas took 50 percent of the vote. His next closest challenger was Richard Bew, a retired Marine colonel from Newport, with 25.23 percent.

Libertarian Tim Harris of New Bern won by a 56-to-44 percent margin over Shannon Bray of Apex. Greg Holt from New Bern was the only candidate to file from the Constitution Party and will be their nominee.

Turnout was light, with only 14.09 percent of registered voters casting a ballot in the district that spans 17 counties from the Virginia state line to Jacksonville.

Tim Harris

In the races with more than two candidates, the candidate who receives the second-highest vote total may demand a second primary if no one receives more than 30 percent of the votes cast for all candidates in that primary.

The top two vote-getters would be on the ballot for the second primary, which would be held on July 9. The general election would then be on September 10.

A candidate who is eligible to demand a second primary, according to unofficial results, must file a written request to the executive director of the State Board of Elections by noon on Thursday, May 9. Any request would be subject to the certification of official results by the State Board.

Any voter registered in the 3rd Congressional District with the political party holding the second primary may vote in the second primary. Unaffiliated voters who voted in that party’s first primary, as well as unaffiliated voters who did not vote any party’s ballot in the first primary, may also vote in the second primary. Voter registration would not be permitted for a second primary.

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