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Six candidates file in 3rd Congressional District special election

072217 Greg Murphy
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Greg Murphy


By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Four Republicans and two Democrats were the first to file for the special election to fill the 3rd Congressional District seat that was vacated by the death of Walter Jones Jr. last month.

Monday was the first day of filing for the special election, scheduled for July 9. The filing period ends at 5 p.m. Friday.

The Republican candidates are state Rep. Greg Murphy, a Greenville urologist and surgeon who has served nearly three years in the General Assembly; Phil Law, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who twice ran against Jones; Michele Nix, who stepped down Monday from her position as vice chairwoman of the North Carolina Republican Party to run; and state Rep. Michael Speciale, a retired U.S. Marine who is serving his fourth term in the General Assembly.

The two Democrats who filed are Ike Johnson, a retired U.S. Marine who mentors students in Onslow County Schools, and Dana Outlaw, New Bern’s mayor and the owner of a self-storage business and real estate consulting and appraisal business.

Johnson said he wants to focus on taking care of all people, not just certain segments.

“I’ve seen the discourse in Washington and the politics on both sides for the last few years and I just feel like I can bring a little more clarity to this process at the same time as taking care of my neighbors and friends who deserve great leadership in the Third District,” Johnson said. “We need to leave the partisan politics aside and do the right thing for North Carolinians instead of lining up on one side or the other. Someone has to think about the people and I feel I’m better equipped to take care of the people.”

Murphy said the calls of support he has received since announcing his candidacy a week ago have been fantastic; with people offering to knock on doors, make telephone calls and put up signs.

“The way I am looking at this race is we are running for a position but not against anyone in particular,” Murphy said. He is emphasizing his “proven track record” as a small businessman, as someone knowledgeable in health care and as an effective legislator.

“I believe that combination — with our conservative base, which are the values of eastern North Carolina — will bring people to the polls and eventually win the election,” Murphy said.

Law said he would fight to protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans, calling last week’s House vote to extend the period for background checks an “overreach” by congressional Democrats.

"The left wing socialists led by Nancy Pelosi seek to destroy the last line of defense average citizens have to protect their lives and property,” Law said. “Rest assured that whichever Democrat we face in the general election, he or she is going to be hit hard with this fact every day of the campaign.”

Nix, a Kinston resident, said she is running to support President Donald Trump’s agenda.

“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 America,” she said.

Nix said the president’s agenda must be continued and pointed to “signs of economic growth in our district,” including the announced that JetStream, a private jet charter and aircraft maintenance company, was building a facility at the Global TransPark in Kinston.

“We are seeing other industries expanding including, hemp farming, commercial fishing and energy exploration and we want to keep the progress alive,” she said.

Outlaw and Speciale were unavailable for comment.

April 30 is the date of the primary elections for the 3rd Congressional District. If no candidate in a particular primary receives more than 30 percent of the vote, then a second primary will be held on July 9 and the general election will be on Sept. 10.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.