First there were 26 — Now there are 5

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – Five lucky candidates remain in the hunt, from an unprecedented field of 26 – all hopeful to occupy the seat of Walter Jones, the incumbent who died in February.

Allen Thomas of Pitt County pulverized his five opponents Tuesday, winning the Democratic nomination with a convincing 50 percent of the votes cast. The margin of victory is important for Thomas. Had he garnered less than 30 percent, a runoff with the second place finisher would have been required.
“I’m grateful that voters have shown confidence in me to move forward as North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District Democratic Representative in the upcoming general election,” said Thomas, in a written statement released Wednesday.


Advertisement

“It would be a tremendous honor to fulfill this term of a man I highly respected, Congressman Walter Jones whom I learned from and represents such a legacy of service across eastern North Carolina.
I’m proud of the race we ran in every corner of this district, meeting families, veterans, watermen, farmers, and teachers across all 17 counties across the east. Our work is just beginning and we look forward to continuing to meet people and sharing how I intend to keep the strong legacy of constituency service alive in this district, working on the issues that are most important to families across the east.”

The flip side of the heavily contested ballot is that the Republican field has been dramatically winnowed to just two candidates – both of whom are doctors. Greg Murphy and Joan Perry will square off in a mid-summer runoff. The winner of that head-to-head contest wins the right to represent the GOP in a special election against Allen Thomas — a match-up scheduled for September.

Murphy pulled just over 22 percent of votes cast for Republicans. His tally of 9,507 exceeded Perry’s total count of 6,515 — equal to 14 percent of votes cast

The one / two finish of Murphy / Perry left 15 other Republicans on the sidelines. And, how supporters of those 15 choose to vote on July 9 will likely determine the party’s ultimate nominee.

In a brief phone conversation Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Joan Perry commended all of the running mates on a mostly congenial, though brief, campaign of less than two months.

“I really enjoyed interacting with all of my colleagues,” said Perry, who added that she and her supporters had done a good job of hammering home her campaign messages, “and we did a good job of reaching across the entire third congressional district. And, we left it all on the court” – a reference to non-stop hobnobbing and handshaking.

In a written statement released Wednesday, Greg Murphy was also magnanimous.

“It’s been humbling to see the way folks have taken to my message and Tuesday’s result is just evidence of what I’ve seen across the District for the past several weeks,” said Murphy, adding “I’ve worked hard my entire life to meet goals and this was just another example. However, just like so many things in my life, there were many others working along side me that made the goal achievable. The experts said getting more than 20 percent of the vote in a 17-person race was nearly impossible.”
In September, the ballot will reflect nominees of four different political parties. Greg Holt is the nominee of the Constitution Party, and Tim Harris is the nominee of the Libertarian Party.