Seat for 3rd Congressional District shapes up as historic election

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THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT –  Political operatives, and even rank-and-file voters, view the April 30 special election as a truly unique occurrence in North Carolina history.

The seat, of course, has been held by Walter Jones – first the father and then his son – for more than five decades. The death last month of the incumbent Congressman, serving for what he announced would be his last term, leaves the office open with no heir apparent.


As a result, by mid-afternoon of Wednesday, almost a dozen candidates have filed, with each paying the $1,740 ballot fee – a figure that represents one-percent of the gross annual salary of the federally-paid position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In North Carolina, five political parties – Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Constitution – have been certified as eligible for placing candidates on the ballot – and all but the Green Party have at least one person who has filed.

The brief one-week filing period ends Friday, March 8, and more candidates are expected to throw their hats into the ring. This newspaper reached out to the early filers. Our request was simple: Send us a brief email with whatever you would like to say about your candidacy. Here, in alphabetical order by last name, is what arrived from the first five to respond. Next week, we hope to have comments from others who will be participating in this remarkable event.


PHIL LAW: As a candidate in the NC-3 special election I don’t like to hear people say the winner will “replace” Walter Jones. He will never be replaced in our hearts and memories — and the best any of us can do is hope to follow in his footsteps by voting conscience first and party second while always listening to the people.

Illegal immigration is killing the country on so many levels as the middle class is being destroyed by shrinking inflation-adjusted wages and increased taxation.  Any candidate that supports Medicaid expansion while claiming to be a conservative Republican is neither in reality.  President Trump realizes this and I will support him to the very end — good, bad or indifferent. As a Marine Corps combat veteran I learned the values of loyalty to country and flag — as the next congressman I will never forget the people come first every time.

GREGORY F. MURPHY, MD:  My life has been one that has been dedicated to service and I look to this opportunity as another avenue of service.

As a conservative, in Congress, I would champion lower taxes, less government and more individual liberty. My campaign for Congress is based upon my belief that the Constitution and the principles of limited government upon which it was based are the key to sustaining our great Republic. We have shared my ‘We the People Platform’ across the district, expressing my desire to move power away from Washington DC and to Washington, North Carolina. Our Founding Fathers crafted a system of government in which the power rested with the people and government had no power that wasn’t expressly given to it by the people. Unfortunately, these principles have slowly been altered to the point that the Federal government all too often dictates it’s desires to the people through an overreach of power and burdensome federal regulations.

If elected to Congress, I will uphold the Constitution and the principles of our Founding Fathers. I will support the “People’s President,” Donald Trump and help push through the policies he campaigned on and I will also be a staunch supporter (and member if invited to join) of the House Freedom Caucus. The Freedom Caucus’ Chairman Mark Meadows has been a mentor to me and their foundational principles of transparency and never turning your vote over to leadership or special interests are the core principles I will take with me to Washington.

MICHELE NIX: This election is being held under somber circumstances. The loss of Rep. Walter Jones has been difficult, and he will be greatly missed. I cannot replace Walter Jones, but I hope that I can go to Washington and live up to his legacy.

I am running for Congress to support President Trump’s agenda for America. The

President needs more good Republican women in Congress fighting for lower taxes,

less government spending, less regulations, and to bring back common sense to


As your representative in Congress I pledge to you I will keep up the fight for our

military. My father and grandfather were both in the military. I know what the families of

our service men and women go through and just like Congressman Jones, I will defend

you as long as you defend our country.

The 3rd District of North Carolina is home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the

country, but those of us who live here and work here know the challenges our

community faces. I am not a politician running for selfish reasons. My husband John and

I have worked hard here in Kinston to make a better life for ourselves and our family. I

can relate with the people of this district and I can take our communities concerns to


We must support our President to keep his agenda alive. We have seen the signs of

economic growth in our district. We recently saw JetStream is building a facility in the

Global Trans Park that is going to bring jobs to our community. We are seeing other

industries expanding including, hemp farming, commercial fishing, and energy

exploration and we want to keep the progress alive. It is amazing what can be done

when the government gets out of the way. And we have seen this through the

President’s massive reduction in regulation, tax cuts, and controlling spending. As your

Congresswoman, I will fight to keep the President’s agenda alive so we can continue to

see the benefits of economic growth into our district.

DANA OUTLAW: I have lived in New Bern since 1968, my father was city manager of New Bern. I grew up around government and met many government leaders over the years. I am for the most part a product of that osmosis. I am a strong supporter of border security out of respect for the many new Americans that do it the right way.  If you go to one new citizen immigration event and meet some of the new Americans, including some that are serving the USA military, you could understand that we have to look out “for our own” before you can look out for others.

I am very pro life.  My recent granddaughter Keely coming into the world, we knew her life was on earth far before the birth date. Some say it is a mother’s right to choose.  There are two involved in this, one is the mother, the other is the unborn child that is a miracle in itself. I want to be a voice for the other God-given miracle of human life.  Listen to the song by Seals and Croft and you will understand. I want to be an advocate for the unborn.  I have had experience with folks making those decisions and it is not easy and requires a lot of support from many. I have reviewed the Carolina Care program for Affordable Care and feel there are many left out of this plan.  A plan based on compliance with US Affordable Care requirements backed by a state budget of 22-24 billion with reimbursement requirement and a required balanced budget for the state versus the National plan.

I am in favor of term limits. I have signed a pledge for four terms in Congress based on a two-year term. I served two terms as an Alderman in New Bern and am in my second term as Mayor. This candidacy in no way takes away from my dedication to the City of New Bern and the citizens. I will work as hard as usual for the city and all residents.

My family is pretty much from a farming background. I am very concerned about the plight of the commercial fishermen and farmers in the Third District and look forward to working hard with my background to serve all the hard working citizens of Eastern NC.

I actually do have a fun side, I was in a Southern Rock band for years called Cold Biscuit, you can see us on You Tube under Cold Biscuit or Cold Bisquit, I am the guy in the green shirt on bass.

MICHAEL SPECIALE – I am a conservative, which means that I support those things which have aided in making America great, such as God, Country, the rule of law (US Constitution), family, free market economics, personal responsibility and the like.

I am a Retired Marine and a current member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. As a fourth term incumbent, I have a record.  I have a strong, conservative record both in the House and as a patriot and activist for the last nineteen years.

I ask that each and every voter look at the candidates’ records and you will begin to see the differences between them. I kept my word and I did what I said I would do when I campaigned for the NC House, and I am a solid, no-nonsense, unapologetic conservative fighter for the citizens of my district and this state.

I ask for your support and your vote in this Special Election on April 30th.