Like everything else, voting on Ocracoke Tuesday required some special maneuvering. Photo by Richard Taylor

By Peter Vankevich

Ocracoke will have new representation in the U.S. House of  Representatives.  

Greg  Murphy (R) swept  to victory in the North Carolina’s Third Congressional District special election yesterday (Sept. 10), garnering nearly 62 percent of the vote defeating Allen Thomas (D) with a margin of 70,142 to 42,570.

The other two candidates on the ballot, Greg Holt, Constitutional Party, and Tim Harris, Libertarian, each received less than one percent of the vote.

In the other special election yesterday for the Ninth Congressional District, Dan Bishop, a Republican state senator, scored a narrow victory over Dan McCready, a moderate Democrat.

Elections on Ocracoke are held in the back of the normally sedate Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department building. The location is currently the bustling hub for providing disaster relief for the many residents who have suffered devastating impacts from Hurricane Dorian.

Dr. Gregory Murphy. Photo from his Facebook page

A special tent was set up on the right side of the building and in the morning, voters passed by medical staff administering free tetanus shots. A total of 172 Ocracoke residents voted on election day.  Another 68 took advantage  of one-stop early voting on August 29.

Locally, Thomas, a former mayor of Greenville, carried Hyde County, beating Murphy 489 to 446. The county win is due to the high support Thomas had on Ocracoke, with unofficially 172 votes to 45.

Murphy, also from Greenville, was appointed in 2015 to the N.C. General Assembly District 9 (Pitt County) to finish the term of Brian Brown, who resigned. Murphy has been easily reelected twice. He joined 16 other Republican candidates to fill the  congressional seat when Walter Jones Jr. died in February.

Murphy won the April 30 primary with 22 percent of the vote. Since he didn’t receive the required 30 percent, he had a runoff against Joan Perry, the second place finisher, on July 9, easily defeating her with 60 percent of the vote.

A urologist, Murphy is a Davidson graduate (1985) and UNC-CH School of Medicine (1989). He has a private practice with a payroll of more than 50 employees and a professor of surgery at East Carolina School of Medicine and is division chief of Urology at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. He is also a former chief of staff at the Vidant Medical Center.

He has served as a medical missionary in Haiti, India and Africa, working in some of the most challenging conditions in the world. During his time in India, he cared for those afflicted with leprosy and had the opportunity to meet Mother Theresa. He was named as a NBC News’ Person of the Day for his work in Haiti after their devastating earthquake and also organized a group of physicians and aid workers to mobilize on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Murphy campaigned supporting the Trump agenda “because it is the people’s agenda, especially Eastern North Carolina that voted so overwhelming in his favor.”

His political views posted on his website are those of a conservative, in favor of decreasing the size and scope of the federal government and to move as much power away from Washington and back to North Carolina.

Regarding gun control, he states: “Reactionary responses to crimes involving guns overlooks the basic facts that more restrictive gun laws will have little effect on crime because, by nature, criminals do not follow the law. Combine these freedom-supporting principles with personal protection rights and our sporting heritage and I see no reason to place further burdens on law abiding citizens to purchase and own firearms.”

Here  are some of his other positions:

“Obamacare was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever passed and we must do everything possible to dismantle any remnants of that failed policy,” he said. “I support healthcare reforms that put the decision making process of doctor choice and treatment options in the hands of the citizens and will look for new and innovative ways to implement such changes.”

He is solidly pro-life and will do all within his power to protect “the innocent unborn.”

“As a Christian, I also will work to show compassion for those having to make this decision and provide as many alternatives as possible, including reducing barriers to adoption,” he said.

Murphy is expected to run for reelection in 2020.

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