North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional Special Election Draws 26 Candidates

Over two dozen candidates have filed for the North Carolina 3rd Congressional District’s special election.

Filing closed on March 8th with a tally of six Democrats, seventeen Republicans, two libertarians and one Constitution party candidate.

The Democrats considered front-runners are Richard Bew, a Retired Marine who was a pilot at the North Carolina Marine Corps Cherry Point station, and Allen Thomas, the former mayor of Greenville who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Global TransPark located in Kinston.

Other Democrats in the race are Isiah ‘Ike’ Johnson, a retired Marine; Gregory Humphrey, a retired Deputy Fire Chief and Vietnam Vet; Dana Outlaw, the mayor of New Bern; and Ernest Reeves, a retired Army Captain who took on Jones in 2016 but lost big with only 32.8% of the vote compared to Jones’ 67.8%.

The Republicans have 17 candidates in the running with three current state house representatives and the former vice chair of the NC GOP being considered as competitive ‘tier one candidates’.

Phil Shepard is the state house representative for Onslow and Greg Murphy represents Pitt County. Both have five terms in the North Carolina General Assembly under their belts. There had been speculation that Shepard’s Onslow counterpart, Senator Harry Brown, would run but Brown announced last week he would not be seeking the seat.

Michael Speciale has been the state house representative for Craven County for four years and is a former Marine. He is considered to be one of the most conservative members in the house.

Michele Nix (pictured, right) was the first candidate to file and was the NCGOP Vice Chair but relinquished that role to run for the seat.

Republicans closely following up the ‘tier one’ group include Francis X. De Luca, Paul Beaumont, Phil Law, Jeff Moore, Joan Perry, and Eric Rouse.

Other candidates filing as Republicans include:

Graham Boyd
Kevin Baiko
Gary Ceres
Chimer Davis Clark, Jr.
Don Cox
Mike Payment

Four of the Republican candidate filed on the last day – DeLuca, Cox, Rouse, and Payment. Both Rouse and Payment are former county commissioners for Lenoir and Currituck Counties respectively.

One of the final filers last Friday is Colonel Francis DeLuca, a retired Marine and the former Director of the Civitas Institute. He announced his candidacy filing late Friday afternoon on Facebook.

“These are troubled times and we need people who will step up and do things for the right reasons,” DeLuca (pictured, left) told Battleground State News.

Rounding out the field is Greg Holt with the Constitution Party, and Shannon W. Bray and former Marine Tim Harris, who are running as Libertarians.

The 3rd Congressional seat had previously been held for fourteen years by Republican Walter Jones who passed away February 10th. On January 2nd, Jones indicated that he would not be running again in 2020 and later that month it was announced he had entered into Hospice care.

The district covers 17 counties and stretches down the eastern counties of North Carolina including the Outerbanks and areas near the Pamlico Sound. The counties are Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, and Tyrrell.

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A.P. Dillon is the North Carolina Bureau Chief for The Tennesee Star and a reporter at Battleground State News. Follow A.P. Dillon on Twitter. Email Tips to [email protected].







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