2019 North Carolina's 3rd congressional district special election

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2019 North Carolina's 3rd congressional district special election

← 2018 September 10, 2019 2020 →

North Carolina's 3rd congressional district
  Greg Murphy NC.jpeg Allen M. Thomas.jpg
Nominee Greg Murphy Allen Thomas
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 70,407 42,738
Percentage 61.74% 37.47%

2019 North Carolina's 3rd congressional district election - Results by county.svg
Results by county
Murphy:      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%
Thomas:      50-60%

U.S. Representative before election

(Walter B. Jones Jr. prior to his death on Feb. 10, 2019)

Elected U.S. Representative

Greg Murphy

A special election was held on September 10th, 2019 to fill the vacancy in North Carolina's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives for the remainder of the 116th United States Congress. Walter B. Jones Jr., the incumbent representative, died on February 10, 2019.[1]

Parties held primaries to decide their nominees. In order to win a party nomination outright, under current state law, a candidate must exceed 30% of the vote to avoid a runoff (presuming that the second-place finisher calls for that runoff). There must be 30 days of absentee voting prior to each election, according to state law.[2] Filing began on March 4 and ended March 8, as set by Governor Roy Cooper. Twenty-six candidates filed with the State Board of Elections by the filing deadline: 17 Republicans, 6 Democrats, 2 Libertarians, and 1 Constitution Party candidate.[3] All candidates filed are affiliated with a political party.[4] Five candidates advanced after the first primary elections: two Republicans, one Democrat, one Libertarian, and one Constitution Party candidate.

Cooper set the primary date of April 30, in which the Democrats selected Allen M. Thomas, Libertarians selected Tim Harris, and in the Constitution Party primary businessman Greg Holt won by default, but no Republican achieved 30% of the vote. Voting for the Republican primary runoff occurred on Tuesday, July 9, between two candidates that are both physicians, Greg Murphy and Joan Perry.[5] Approximately 70 minutes after polls closed, Murphy was declared the winner by the Associated Press.

The general election was held on September 10, 2019. Murphy won the seat.[6][7]

With the decision by the State Board of Elections to hold a new election to redo the 2018 U.S. House election in North Carolina's 9th district, this became one of two congressional district special elections in North Carolina in 2019, the other being the 9th district's special election held on the same day. This was the first time two U.S. House special elections were held in the same state on the same day (not on Election Day) since the May 3, 2008, elections in Louisiana's 1st district and 6th district.[8]

Republican primary[edit]



Eliminated in runoff[edit]

  • Joan Perry, pediatrician[11]

Eliminated in primary[edit]



Jeff Moore
Greg Murphy
Joan Perry

First round[edit]


Poll source Date(s)
of error
Other Undecided
Atlantic Media & Research (R)[A] April 24–27, 2019 253 ± 6.1% 2% 3% 6% 14% 9% 4% 7% 6% 5%[a] 44%


Republican primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Greg Murphy 9,530 22.51
Republican Joan Perry 6,536 15.44
Republican Phil Shepard 5,101 12.05
Republican Michael Speciale 4,022 9.50
Republican Phil Law 3,690 8.72
Republican Eric Rouse 3,258 7.70
Republican Jeff Moore 2,280 5.39
Republican Francis De Luca 1,670 3.95
Republican Celeste Cairns 1,467 3.47
Republican Chimer Davis Clark Jr. 1,092 2.58
Republican Michele Nix 915 2.16
Republican Graham Boyd 897 2.12
Republican Paul Beaumont 805 1.90
Republican Mike Payment 537 1.27
Republican Don Cox 251 0.59
Republican Kevin Baiko 171 0.40
Republican Gary Ceres 108 0.26
Total votes 42,330 100.0



Republican primary runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Greg Murphy 21,444 59.7
Republican Joan Perry 14,472 40.3
Total votes 35,916 100.0

Democratic primary[edit]





  • Ollie Nelson, retired U.S. Marine, educator, and pastor[23]
  • George Parrott, businessman[44]
  • Scott Thomas, District Attorney for North Carolina's 4th prosecutorial district[45]


Richard Bew
Allen Thomas


Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Allen Thomas 12,933 49.96
Democratic Richard Bew 6,532 25.23
Democratic Dana Outlaw 3,268 12.63
Democratic Ike Johnson 1,774 6.85
Democratic Gregory Humphrey 695 2.68
Democratic Ernest T. Reeves 683 2.64
Total votes 25,885 100.0

Libertarian primary[edit]



  • Shannon Bray, U.S. Navy veteran, author, cybersecurity expert[52]
  • Tim Harris, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, IT engineer, candidate for North Carolina Senate for the 2nd district in 2018[53]


Libertarian primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Tim Harris 75 55.97
Libertarian Shannon Bray 59 44.03
Total votes 134 100.0

Constitution primary[edit]


Nominee (by default)[edit]

  • Greg Holt, businessman[12]

General election[edit]

During the early voting period for this election, Hurricane Dorian battered the eastern coast of the United States, necessitating early voting to be halted in several counties on the Outer Banks until the storm had passed. This also happened in the election for North Carolina's 9th congressional district.


Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[54] Safe R August 26, 2019
Inside Elections[55] Safe R September 4, 2019
Sabato's Crystal Ball[56] Likely R September 5, 2019


Greg Murphy (R)
Federal politicians
Allen Thomas (D)
Federal politicians
Statewide, and local politicians


Poll source Date(s)
of error
Murphy (R)
Thomas (D)
Other Undecided
GAJ Solutions (R)[B] August 26–28, 2019 500 ± 4.0% 51% 40% 3%[b] 6%
Hypothetical polling
with generic Republican and generic Democrat
Poll source Date(s)
of error
Strategic Partners Solutions May 18–19, 2019 400 ± 4.9% 49% 41%


Campaign finance reports as of August 21,2019
Candidate (party) Total receipts Total disbursements Cash on hand
Greg Murphy (R) $901,590.47 $803,487.06 $98,103.41
Allen Thomas (D) $564,575.49 $476,025.52 $88,549.97
Source: Federal Election Commission[74]


North Carolina's 3rd congressional district special election, 2019[75]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Greg Murphy 70,407 61.74 -38.26
Democratic Allen Thomas 42,738 37.47 N/A
Constitution Greg Holt 507 0.44 N/A
Libertarian Tim Harris 394 0.35 N/A
Total votes '114,046' '100' N/A
Republican hold

Despite the clear victory, 61.7% is the lowest Republican vote share in this district since 2012.

See also[edit]


Partisan clients
  1. ^ Open-ended poll sponsored a "private client", likely Conservatives for a Better North Carolina, a super PAC supporting Phil Shepard
  2. ^ Poll conducted for RRH
Additional candidates
  1. ^ Paul Beaumont, Chimer Clark, Don Cox, and Francis De Luca with 1%; Kevin Baiko, Gary Ceres, Michele Nix, and Mike Payment with 0%
  2. ^ Harris (L) with 2% and Holt (C) with 1%


  1. ^ Bolton, Alexander (February 10, 2019). "Rep. Walter Jones, GOP rebel and Iraq War critic, dies at age 76". The Hill. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Murphy, Brian (February 11, 2019). "Gov. Cooper to set dates for a special election to replace Walter Jones in Congress". McClatchy. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  3. ^ https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Elections/2019/District3Candidates.pdf
  4. ^ "NC State Board of Elections: Petitions in NC". Ncsbe.gov. October 17, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  5. ^ https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229850299.html
  6. ^ "3rd Congressional District special election filing begins next week". The Daily Standard. February 27, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Roll Call: Republican Greg Murphy wins special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District
  8. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (September 10, 2019). "Two for the price of one". Smart Politics. Archived from the original on September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Pathe, Simone (February 11, 2019). "There's at least one special election coming to North Carolina soon". Roll Call. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  10. ^ Boyum, Tim (February 25, 2019). "NEW: NC Rep. Greg Murphy (R) will announce a run for #NC03 and Walter Jones seat with 5 city Eastern NC kickoff today. #ncpol #ncga". @TimBoyumTV. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "CANDIDATE DETAIL LIST" (PDF).
  12. ^ a b c d Pippin, Jannette (March 6, 2019). "Field of Republicans packed in race for Congressional seat". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d "North Carolina Board of Elections Filing" (PDF).
  14. ^ a b c Pippin, Jannette (February 18, 2019). "Candidates begin announcing run for Jones seat". Jacksonville Daily News. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  15. ^ JDNews. "Meet Phil Law: U.S. House of Representatives District 3 candidate". JDNews.com. Jackson, NC-Daily News. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  16. ^ Jason, Boy (February 25, 2019). "Two more join field to fill Walter Jones' spot in Congress". Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d Way, Dan (February 11, 2019). "Large field of contenders expected to try to succeed Jones in 3rd District". Carolina Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  18. ^ Specht, Paul A. (February 18, 2019). "He's known for secession bill and attacking Obama as 'Islamic.' He wants a seat in Congress". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Pippin, Jannette (March 4, 2019). "UPDATE: 6 file to run for Congressional seat". Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "NC-3: Rep. Walter Jones (R) Officially Retiring in 2020". RRH Elections. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c Hawley, Jon (February 3, 2019). "Special election would be needed to fill Jones' seat". Greenville Daily Reflector. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  22. ^ Hawley, Jon (February 3, 2019). "GOP defers to Jones on resignation". Elizabeth City Daily Advance. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Pippin, Jannette (February 25, 2019). "Candidates line up to run for vacant Congressional seat". Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  24. ^ "U.S. Rep. Jones enters hospice care". Greenville Daily Reflector. January 26, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  25. ^ https://bigleaguepolitics.com/in-rare-endorsement-trump-ally-rand-paul-taps-jeff-moore-for-congress/
  26. ^ a b "'Women for Trump' endorse Murphy". The Daily Reflector. May 9, 2019.
  27. ^ Dr. Greg Murphy. "Greg Murphy on Twitter". Twitter.
  28. ^ Rick Santorum. "Rick Santorum on Twitter". Twitter.
  29. ^ a b Murphy, Brian (May 1, 2019). "Greg Murphy picks up a key endorsement ahead of GOP runoff for Congress". The News & Observer. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  30. ^ Dr. Greg Murphy. "Greg Murphy on Twitter". Twitter.
  31. ^ "We are proud to endorse @DrJoanPerry, a principled #ProLife, pro-woman leader for #NC03. As a mom of five and a pediatrician, unborn children and their mothers could not have a stronger champion than Joan standing up to the abortion lobby". @SBAList. Twitter. March 28, 2019.
  32. ^ "We said we'd support qualified #GOPwomen in primary elections, and today we announced our first endorsement.@drjoanperry is a pediatrician and political outsider who will be a strong voice for #NC03". @WinningForWomen. Twitter. April 22, 2019.
  33. ^ "FreedomWorks for America Endorses Joan Perry in North Carolina's Third Congressional District". freedomworksforamerica.org. May 7, 2019.
  34. ^ Joan Perry. "I am honored to receive the endorsement from @maggieslist1, the country's leading organization specifically focused on electing CONSERVATIVE women to federal office. "Congress needs more conservative Republican women like Dr. Joan Perry," state's Maggie's List NC Chair. #NC03". Twitter.
  35. ^ Talk of the Town. "@RepLizCheney announced her endorsement for @drjoanperry for NC's 3rd Congressional District on this morning's Talk of the Town". Twitter.
  36. ^ Joan Perry. "So thankful I was able to spend this evening with Congressman @RepHolding! Congressman Holding has been an outstanding Conservative voice for the 2nd Congressional District of NC. I've very honored & humbled of his endorsement of my candidacy to Congress! #NC03 #NCpol". Twitter.
  37. ^ Perry, Joan (March 28, 2019). "I'm blown away by the support of my good friend, Paul "Skip" Stam, who served as NC House Speaker Pro Tem. For decades, he's worked as hard as anyone to build the Republican Party in North Carolina. Read why he's supporting my campaign: #NC03 #NCpol". @drjoanperry. Twitter.
  38. ^ Elise Stefanik. "Proud to endorse @drjoanperry in #NC03. #EPAC will be maxing out to her campaign in the run off as the strongest candidate to represent her community in Congress. Thx to allies @WinningForWomen & @SBAList for stepping up to support strong, qualified, & exceptional #GOPWomen. 🇺🇸". Twitter.
  39. ^ Robles, Dalisa (March 7, 2019). "Former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas announces he will run for Congressional District 3". WNCT. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  40. ^ "Richard Bew For Congress" (PDF). FEC. March 5, 2019.
  41. ^ Pathé, Simone (March 5, 2019). "Why this North Carolina Democrat thinks he can succeed Walter Jones". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  42. ^ Pippin, Jannette (March 4, 2019). "UPDATE: 6 file to run for Congressional seat". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  43. ^ Goforth, Wes (March 1, 2019). "New Bern mayor says he's running for Congress seat held by late Walter Jones". Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  44. ^ Hanks, Bryan (March 5, 2019). "Nix announces candidacy for Congress". Neuse News. Another Democrat with Kinston roots, restaurateur George Parrott, has announced on Facebook he is running in the primary.
  45. ^ WITN. "Former Greenville mayor announces bid for Congress". www.witn.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  46. ^ Murphy, Brian (March 15, 2019). "#NC03: Democratic candidate @bewforcongress gets an endorsement from a sitting U.S. Rep.: @sethmoulton and @serve_america. "He is the kind of leader we need to continue turning this country around," Moulton said. #ncpol". @MurphinDC. Twitter.
  47. ^ McGrath, Amy (March 6, 2019). "My friend and fellow Marine Aviator, Colonel (Ret.) Richard Bew, is running in the fast approaching Special Election in #NC03If you think we need more public servants, not politicians, in DC, who will always put #CountryOverParty please follow and support @bewforcongress". @AmyMcGrathKY.
  48. ^ Richard Ojeda [@VoteOjeda2020] (March 7, 2019). "To all of my friends/followers in North Carolina, Check out this Retired Colonel running for Congress in NC-3! He flew in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Serbia. A great Democrat candidate who definitely understand LEADERSHIP and caring for people" (Tweet). Retrieved March 7, 2019 – via Twitter.
  49. ^ Service America (March 15, 2019). ".@bewforcongress is the kind of leader we need to continue turning this country around; we're proud to be supporting him this April and hope you will too.pic.twitter.com/cPhda7dCEk". @serve_america. Twitter.
  50. ^ Stolz, Jon (March 15, 2019). "VoteVets PAC Endorses Richard Bew in North Carolina's Third District Race". VoteVets.org. VoteVets PAC.
  51. ^ a b Day, Chris (March 25, 2019). "Hunter: Dems need stronger turnout to win upcoming elections - Daily Advance". www.dailyadvance.com. Daily Advance. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-NC, recently endorsed Allen, Pate told the audience.
  52. ^ Murphy, Brian [@MurphinDC] (March 5, 2019). "Libertarian Party candidate Shannon Bray has filed to run in #NC03" (Tweet). Retrieved March 5, 2019 – via Twitter.
  53. ^ Pippin, Jannette (February 27, 2019). "UPDATE: 10 plan to run for Jones seat in special election". Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  54. ^ "2018 Senate Race Ratings". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  55. ^ "2018 Senate Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  56. ^ Kondik, Kyle (September 5, 2019). "Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » House Ratings Changes: NC-9 do-over election going down to the wire". crystalball.centerforpolitics.org. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball.
  57. ^ Donald J. Trump. "Donald J. Trump on Twitter". Twitter.
  58. ^ Mike Pence. "Mike Pence on Twitter". Twitter.
  59. ^ Thom Tillis. "Thom Tillis on Twitter". Twitter.
  60. ^ "Meadows, Jordan endorse Murphy". YouTube.com. July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  61. ^ Donald Trump Jr. "Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter". Twitter.
  62. ^ Kayleigh McEnany. "Kayleigh McEnany on Twitter". Twitter.
  63. ^ National Right to Life. "National Right to Life is pleased to endorse @DrGregMurphy1 for North Carolina's 3rd District special election on September 10. Be sure to get out there and #VoteProLife! @NCRTL". Twitter.
  64. ^ "NFIB Endorses Greg Murphy in NC-03 Special Election". National Federation of Independent Business. August 13, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  65. ^ Alma Adams. "Alma Adams on Twitter". Twitter.
  66. ^ "Endorsements". Allen Thomas Congress. July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  67. ^ Julian Castro. "Julian Castro on Twitter". Twitter.
  68. ^ a b "Endorsements". Allen Thomas For Congress. July 22, 2019.
  69. ^ "Endorsements". Dan McCready For Congress. March 27, 2019.
  70. ^ Erica D. Smith. "Erica D. Smith on Twitter". Twitter.
  71. ^ NC, Equality (May 14, 2019). "ENC is proud to endorse @AllenThomas4ENC for North Carolina's Third Congressional District". @equalitync. Twitter.
  72. ^ "Sierra Club #ClimateVoter Guide: Endorsements". Sierra Club.
  73. ^ "Allen's Endorsements". Allen Thomas for Congress.
  74. ^ "FEC".
  75. ^ "US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 03 - REP (VOTE FOR 1)". NC State Board of Elections. Retrieved September 20, 2019.

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites