CARTERET COUNTY — Greg Murphy snagged the Republican nomination for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District Tuesday night after months on the campaign trail.  

With a comfortable margin, Mr. Murphy, a Greenville urologist, was victorious over Joan Perry, a Kinston-based pediatrician, in Tuesday’s runoff election.

Neither candidate could be reached for comment by presstime.

As of presstime, with 100% of precincts reported, Mr. Murphy had garnered 21,444 votes, or 59.71%, while Ms. Perry had 14,472, or 40.29%.

“We look forward to deploying the full resources of the NCGOP in order to ensure that Dr. Murphy is victorious in September,” said N.C. Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley.

The candidates, who both billed themselves as Republicans looking to support President Donald Trump’s agenda in the Congress, were frontrunners among 17 candidates from the April 30 primary.

The Associated Press reports super PACs spent more than $1 million on the runoff contest, paying for mailers and airing ads painting one or the other as “liberal.”  

Turnout in the contest was low, with a bit more than 11.5% of eligible district voters casting a ballot in the runoff as of presstime. The eastern North Carolina district stretches 17 counties and was home to 312,345 potential voters, including registered Republicans and eligible unaffiliated voters.

In Carteret County, the turnout was also low, with 14.52% casting a ballot, as of presstime.

“We will be in the higher of the 17 counties. We will be higher, but this county always turns out to vote. I’m a little disappointed, I thought it would be higher,” BOE Chariman Rick Heal said. “So we’re low, but then (it’s) the week after the Fourth of July. The tourists are here. We’re a tourist county.  It’s not that bad, it really isn’t, when you think of it in those terms, but I still wish it were better.”

County election officials said Tuesday evening voting went well.

“Overall it was very smooth,” County Board of Elections Director Margot Burke told the News-Times Tuesday evening.

She said the office fielded several inquiries from Democrats looking to vote and those who have not been able to register or register with the party of their choice since prior to the first primary.

After the Friday, July 19 canvass, the office will once again be able to update registrations and those who have filed paperwork.

“We have over 1,200 people that we need to change, update…” Ms. Burke noted.

Tuesday, poll workers reported “slow and steady” business as voters trickled in to make their picks.

(It’s been) very good, very good,” Newport No. 1 precinct judge Sarah Tootle said mid-morning. She said having worked a previous runoff, she expected a slow day with low turnout.

Several precincts had very low turnout Tuesday, with Cedar Island voting 18, North River voting 19 and Marshallberg voting 42.

Mr. Murphy is now set to compete in the Tuesday, Sept. 10 special election for the U.S. House seat of the late Walter Jones Jr.

Rep. Jones, a Republican known for going against the grain, died Feb. 10 after a short stay in hospice.

Along with Mr. Murphy, other candidates in the September race include Democrat and former Greenville mayor Allen Thomas, Constitutional Party candidate Greg Holt and Libertarian candidate Tim Harris.  

Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email jackie@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.

(1) comment

David Collins

Would be real helpful if N.C. could find a way to ban these out of State propaganda machines. Fail to see the difference between Russia interference and PACs interfering. These out of state propaganda machines have no business doing what they do. Yeah, I get freedom of speech and all that but some things are just plain wrong. Really think that most D’s and Rs would agree on this. Federal elections are and will remain a free for all. Sadly !

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