Filing ends: Additional candidates surface for U.S. House

Published 6:45 pm Friday, March 25, 2016

When it comes to the Republican primary to choose the GOP nominee for the 3rd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, the lineup is the same as it was after the initial filing period ended Dec. 21, 2015.

Incumbent Walter B. Jones, seeking a 12th consecutive two-year term, faces challenges from Phil Law and Taylor Griffin. The winner of the June 7 GOP primary takes on the winner of the Democratic primary for the 3rd District seat. David Allan Hurst and Ernest T. Reeves face each other in the Democratic primary.

Four of the five candidates (Reeves did not file in the initial filing period) were forced to re-file as the result of a ruling by a three-member panel of judges declared two of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts, including the 1st District, unconstitutional because race was used in setting their boundaries and set Feb. 19 as the deadline for redrawn district maps to be submitted. As a result of that ruling, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a new map depicting the state’s 13 congressional districts. The new maps place all of Beaufort County in the 3rd District. Previously, part of the county was in the 3rd District and the remaining part of the county was in the 1st District, represented by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat.

At that time, the Legislature delayed the primaries for the U.S. House until June 7. Under that new plan, the candidate receiving the most votes in a primary would automatically win the primary and would not have to receive at least 40 percent of the votes cast, an exception to existing state law.

Some people complained Republican legislators drew the previous district lines to cram black voters into two districts, resulting in the remaining districts having more white voters and more advantageous to Republicans. GOP lawmakers disagreed with the ruling, but they redrew the district lines in case the U.S. Supreme Court does not block the lower court’s decision from taking effect.

Unaffiliated voters who selected a partisan ballot in the March primary are permitted to select a different party in June. Results in all 2016 primaries are determined by a plurality where the winner takes all. There are no runoffs.

The filing period for candidates seeking seats on a county’s soil-and-water conservation board begins at noon June 13 and ends at noon July 1.

Across the state, 76 candidates filed for the U.S. House, where representatives serve two-year terms. Twenty-two of those candidates (17 of them Republicans) filed for the 13th District seat.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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