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Murphy beats Perry in GOP runoff

Murphy

Dr. Greg Murphy speaks on the phone with former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory after he is announced the winner of the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District at Greenville Convention Center on Tuesday.

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Ginger Livingston

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

State Rep. Greg Murphy handily won the GOP nomination for the 3rd Congressional District special election, receiving nearly 60 percent of the votes cast, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results.

Murphy won 12 of the 17 counties in the district, which extends from the Virginia border to Onslow County. He received 21,444 votes to his opponent Joan Perry’s 14,472 votes.

“This is such a humbling experience. I want to thank all of you,” Murphy said to the more than 100 supporters who gathered at the Greenville Convention Center to watch the election results.

Murphy said his campaign motto has been “We the People.”

“I go to Washington D.C. to represent ‘We the People’ and I think the establishment knows that,” Murphy said. “That’s who makes up our district. I am accountable to you, I am here for you and I am going to Washington D.C., to represent you.”

There is one more hurdle to overcome, Murphy said, the Sept. 10 special election where he will face Democrat Allen Thomas, former mayor of Greenville, along with candidates from the Libertarian and Constitution parties.

The special election is needed because long-time congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. died in February.

Along with his supporters Murphy thanked U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, founding members of the Freedom Caucus, for their support.

“I’ll tell you, the 3rd District will not answer to (House speaker) Nancy Pelosi. The 3rd District is not about infanticide, the 3rd District is not about open borders, the 3rd District is here to support our president and that’s what we are going to do in the next two months,” Murphy said. “We are going to carry that message forward to Sept. 10 and I will be honored to be your congressman for eastern North Carolina.”

Tuesday’s results are unofficial. Counties will canvass and certify the results on July 19. The state election board has not set a date to finalize the results.

The Associated Press reports Washington-based political committees spent well over $1 million to support either Murphy or Perry in the runoff. Each campaign or its supporting groups ran attack ads accusing the opponent of liberal tendencies and questioning the opponent’s commitment to President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Murphy’s campaign had outraised Perry entering the campaign’s final days, but independent expenditure groups backing Perry eliminated any gap, The Associated Press stated.

Murphy said his victory showed the people of the 3rd Congressional District could not be bought. His campaign manager Doug Raymond elaborated on Murphy’s statement.

“We overcame $1.4 million with a bunch of people on the phone,” Raymond said. “It was the ultimate grassroots campaign.”

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