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Democratic, Libertarian Congressional candidates set, Republicans face second primary in July

Of 26 candidates running for the 3rd Congressional District seat left vacant by the death of Walter Jones Jr., only five remain, and Republicans will have a second primary on July 9.

For the Republican field, which began with 17 candidates, it will be a two-way race in July. District-wide, Republican State Representative Greg Murphy secured 9,505 votes, weighing in at 22.54% of the vote, while Kinston physician Dr. Joan Perry earned 6,510 votes, coming in at 15.44%. The remaining 62.02% of the vote was split among the other 15 candidates, with Phil Shepard coming in third, followed by Michael Speciale and Phil Law.

On the Democratic ticket, Allen Thomas will be the candidate on the ballot during the general election on September 10, after emerging from a field of six candidates. All told, Thomas received 12,883 votes, 50% of all votes on the Democratic ballot.

Libertarian candidate Tim Harris, meanwhile, secured 75 votes, which amounts to 56.39% of the total vote on the Libertarian ticket. Harris and lone Constitution Party Candidate Greg Holt will appear as their parties’ respective nominees on the ballot during the general election in September.

In Beaufort County, a total of 6,162 people cast their vote during the primary election, placing the countywide turnout rate at 19.6%.

1,927 votes were cast during one-stop early voting period, for a total of 6.4% of registered voters. Election Day turnout was slightly higher with 4,235 people or 13.2% of Beaufort County voters casting their ballots at their respective polling places.

Countywide, those voting on the Democratic and Republican tickets generally followed district-wide trends, with Greg Murphy (R) and Allen Thomas (D) earning the most ballots from local voters. Murphy obtained 1,151 votes in Beaufort County, while Thomas earned 1,362. Libertarian Tim Harris was the preferred candidate locally.

On the Republican side, local voters also turned out for former Beaufort County Representative Speciale (483 votes) and Pinetown candidate Graham Boyd (429 votes). Don Cox, also a local candidate, brought in 121 votes in his home county. For the Democrats, Richard Bew took second place in Beaufort County with 557 votes.