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State Rep. Greg Murphy will face newcomer Joan Perry in runoff; winner faces Democrat Allen Thomas in September
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com
GREENVILLE, North Carolina (CFP) — Two medical doctors will compete in a July 9 runoff for the Republican nomination for fill a U.S. House vacancy in Eastern North Carolina.
State Rep. Greg Murphy from Greenville and Joan Perry, a pediatrician from Kinston and former member of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors, took the top spots in the crowded April 23 primary for the 3rd District seat, which featured 17 Republican candidates.
The seat has been vacant since U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, who had held it for 24 years, died in February.
Murphy took 23 percent in the first round to 15 percent for Perry. Under state law, primary runoffs are held when no candidate gets 30 percent of the vote.
Among Democrats, former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas won his party’s nomination outright in the first round, with 50 percent of the vote.
The winner of the Republican runoff will be prohibitive favorite in the 3rd District, which includes 17 mostly rural counties along the state’s Atlantic coast. President Donald Trump carried the district by 14 points in 2016.
In addition to the special election in the 3rd District, voters in the state’s 9th U.S. House District will also vote in a May 14 primary to fill a seat that has been vacant since the State Board of Elections ordered a redo of last November’s election amid allegations of absentee ballot fraud.
Ten Republicans are running that that primary. Democrat Dan McCready, who narrowly lost in the district in November, is the only Democrat on the ballot.