Murphy takes congressional oath today
By Ginger Livingston
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
State Rep. Greg Murphy officially will become U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy when he takes the oath of office during a ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today in the U.S.Capitol.
“We’re excited and ready to get to work,” Murphy said. “We’re trying to get our staff put together and get our office up and running.”
The ceremony is scheduled to be broadcast on C-SPAN, Suddenlink Channel 3 and Channel 26.
The ceremony comes one week after Murphy, a Greenville Republican and urological surgeon, won a special election for the 3rd Congressional District seat which was vacated when its previous occupant Walter B. Jones Jr. died in February.
Murphy is being sworn in even though the results of the election won’t be finalized until after a canvass that will take place on Friday. The official results have Murphy winning with nearly 62 percent of the vote versus Democrat Allen Thomas’ 37 percent of the vote. The two third party candidates, Greg Holt and Tim Harris, collectively received less than 1 percent of the vote.
“I think with our margin of victory there is no doubt I was the victor in that election,” Murphy said.
Murphy said his campaign staff was contacted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Friday and told the ceremony would be today.
Also taking the oath of office is Dan Bishop, congressman-elect in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.
When Murphy and Bishop take their seats it will be the first time since January that there will be no vacancies in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Following the oath of office, Murphy immediately will assume the duties of a U.S. representative. He has been assigned Jones’ former office, 2333 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.
“I am very humbled. I have big shoes to fill. He was a devoted servant to the people of eastern North Carolina,” he said.
Murphy’s next priorities are rounding out his congressional staff and setting up his district offices. He has hired Steve Moffitt as his chief of staff. Moffitt recently held that position in the offices of U.S. Rep. Steve Russell of Oklahoma.
Murphy will look for district offices in Greenville, Edenton and Jacksonville next week.
“I have a certain budget to live by and will do what is best for accessibility and cost effectiveness,” he said.
The 3rd Congressional District encompasses 17 counties from Onslow County to the Virginia state line. Pitt County is split between the 3rd and 1st Congressional Districts.
“I am there to represent all the people of the 3rd Congressional District, not just the people who voted for me,” Murphy said. “Our office is going to be one that put constituent services first. We are there to serve them in the best and most intensive manner possible.”
Also taking place today, the Pitt County Republican Party executive committee will begin the first of two days of interviews to select Murphy’s replacement for state House District 9, which encompasses eastern Pitt County.
Party Chairman Gary Weaver said committee members who live in District 9 will conduct the interviews and make the selection. Initially six individuals applied for the job but one since has dropped out, Weaver said.
Weaver said the local party is scheduled to announce the nominee next week. The individual’s name will then be forwarded to the state GOP who will submit the nominee’s name to Gov. Roy Cooper for appointment.
Weaver said under North Carolina law Cooper must appoint the nominee recommended by the GOP.
Contact Ginger Livingston at email@example.com or 252-329-9570.