Early voting in Ocracoke will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 1, at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Hwy. 

By Peter Vankevich

The long process for Ocracoke having a representative in Congress will move forward soon.

Walter Jones (R), the long-time serving representative for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District died this past February.

A special election was called for April 30. A total 17 Republican candidates were on the ballot along with seven Democrats and two Libertarians.

If one of the candidates for each party did not receive 30 percent of the vote, a runoff election would be needed on July 9 for the first two with the most votes unless the candidates with the second highest votes declined to run and the general election would be pushed back to September 10.

On the September ballot will be Democrat Allen Thomas and Libertarian Tim Harris as each got more than 30 percent from their political parties. Unopposed Constitution Party candidate, Greg Holt will join them.

For the Republicans, however, the highest vote receiver was State Rep. Greg Murphy with 22.5 percent (9,530 votes).  Joan Perry was second with 15.4 percent (6,536 votes) and requested the runoff.

Both are medical doctors–Murphy a urologist from Greenville and Perry, a pediatrician from Kinston. Murphy is a member of the General Assembly House of Representatives, representing District 9 and was first elected in 2016. Perry is a first-time candidate.

Dr. Joan Perry. Photo from her Facebook page

According to a report in the Daily Reflector, in their early June debate both candidates agreed that no exceptions for any circumstances should be made for abortion.

“I do not believe there are any circumstances in which abortion should be legal,” Perry had said. “I also believe that every life is ordained by God and life begins at conception.”

The candidates pledged their support to President Trump and vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to cut spending and stop Medicaid expansion. They said they would not ban assault weapons or impose gun restrictions.

Dr. Gregory Murphy. Photo from his Facebook page

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has endorsed Murphy.

Perry has been endorsed by the Winning for Women Action Fund, a group led by former U.S. Sen. 

Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and its first-ever endorsement.

Murphy and Perry have accused each other’s campaign for misleading and deceptive ads.

Early Voting at the Hyde County Elections Office started Wednesday, June 19 and will run through Friday, July 5.  It is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursday, July 4.  There are no weekend hours. The office is located in  the Public Safety Building, 1223 Main St. Swan Quarter.

Early voting in Ocracoke will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 1, at the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Hwy. 

Only registered Republicans and registered unaffiliated voters who voted Republican in the primary and registered unaffiliated who didn’t vote in the primary may vote. If an unaffiliated voter requested a ballot to vote for a Democrat, that person is ineligible to vote in this runoff.

Hyde county has 640 registered Republicans, 117 of them are on Ocracoke. The county has a  total of 666 unaffiliated voters eligible with 217 of them residing on Ocracoke.

Although the Third District does not have a voting member, that office still provides some limited services for constituents. Under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, employees of the late Representative Jones continue to staff the D.C. office and the Greenville district office.

Staffers can provide casework assistance dealing with a federal agency such as the Department of Veterans Affairs,  and helping with passports, Social Security, etc.

They can also provide general information on the status of legislation but cannot provide analysis of issues or render opinions.

Here is the contact information:

Third Congressional District, 2333 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515.  Phone: 202-225-3415.

Third Congressional District, 1105-C Corporate Drive, Greenville, NC 27858. Phone: 252-931-1003.

The geographically large district covers all or part of the 17 counties in the eastern part of the state and includes much of the state’s coast.


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