Candidates file

Elections assistant Lerzan Altan, left, helps candidates Friday as they file for November municipal elections at the County Board of Elections office in Beaufort. (Dylan Ray photo)

CARTERET COUNTY — Tuesday night, Republicans in eastern North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District will have their candidate in the fall special election.

Polls open at 28 precincts in Carteret County at 6:30 a.m. for eligible voters in the runoff contest. All voters in line by 7:30 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot.

On the ballot are Dr. Greg Murphy and Dr. Joan Perry. The two, frontrunners in the April 30 primary that produced no victor, have been running campaigns focused on conservative credentials.

Dr. Murphy, a urologist who has served in the N.C. General Assembly since being appointed in 2015, brands himself as a dedicated public servant focused on lower taxes and limited government, according to his campaign website.

Kinston pediatrician Dr. Perry bills herself as a “political outsider” centered on family issues, including a pro-life platform, her campaign says.

Profiles of both candidates ran in the Sunday, June 30 edition of the News-Times.

The hopefuls are seeking the nomination to run for the seat of the late Rep. Walter Jones Jr., who died Feb. 10.

The congressional district stretches much of the eastern part of the state and is largely red. It encompasses all or parts of Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Greene, Hyde, Lenoir, Jones, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt and Tyrrell counties.

Up until his death, Rep. Jones had held the seat since 1995.

Those eligible to vote in the runoff contest include those county voters registered Republican, unaffiliated voters who voted a Republican ballot in April and unaffiliated voters who did not vote in April.  

“I think turnout is going to be good, we have a lot of voters chomping at the bit (to cast a ballot),” Interim County Board of Elections Director Margot Burke said.

Early voting in the runoff wrapped up Friday, with 1,213 Carteret County voters casting a ballot at the sole site in Beaufort. Ms. Burke said the final day was the busiest with 133 voters.

“This has been very low key, (the voters) seemed to know what they want,” Ms. Burke said of the early voting period.

Unreturned absentee-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday to be counted.

The winner of this week’s primary goes on to the Tuesday, Sept. 10 special election, where they will face off against a Democrat, Libertarian and Constitutional Party candidate.

A full list of polling places for Tuesday’s second primary can be found on Page 1A. To look up your polling place, go online to

In addition to wrapping up early voting in the special election Friday, county elections officials also opened the filing period for November municipal candidates midday.

In all, 15 residents from Carteret County towns filed Friday to make a bid for a local seat. A list of current candidates is below.

The filing period for those seeking to represent their community on town boards runs through noon Friday, July 19.   

The filing fee is $5 for all towns except Morehead City and Peletier, for which the fee is $10.

For more information on municipal elections, contact the BOE at 252-728-8460.

The following is a list of municipal candidates who filed Friday. They are listed by town.

Atlantic Beach:

•    Trace Cooper (i), mayor

•    Joseph (Joey) Starling, town council

Cape Carteret:

•    Charlie Evans, mayor

•    Patricia Ruddiman, commissioner

•    Jeff Waters, commissioner

Cedar Point:

•    Scott Hatsell (i), mayor

•    Frankie Winberry (i), commissioner

Emerald Isle:

•    Steve Finch (i), commissioner

•    Jim Normile (i), commissioner

•    Floyd Messer Jr. (i), commissioner

Morehead City:

•    William (Bill) Taylor (i), council member


•    Chuck Shinn (i), council member

Pine Knoll Shores:

•    Robert J. Cox, mayor

•    Clark Edwards (i), commissioner

•    Ted Goetzinger (i), commissioner

Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225 or email

(1) comment


It is far cheaper and safe to be a congressman than a physician. Sad but true. Congressfolks can lie, cheat, and all manner of corruption. Physicians don't have that luxury. Further, doctors can be directly held accountable, congressfolks far less so. Thus, leave medicine and become a politician. Especially in North Carolina. (Or of course, be the spouse of an elected official, and if they die, you automatically are in office). At least here in Carteret.

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