3/19/19: 26 CANDIDATES VIE FOR LATE U.S. REP. WALTER JONES’S CONGRESSIONAL SEAT; PRIMARY ELECTION SET APRIL 30; Town Planning Board Unanimously Recommends ZTA to Restrict High-Occupancy Houses by Use and Septic Capacity

Currituck County Commissioner Paul Beaumont is one of 17 Republicans running in the primary election for the U.S. congressional seat held by the late Walter Jones.

Twenty-six candidates, including 17 Republicans, met the March 8 filing deadline to run in the race to succeed the late Representative Walter Jones (Rep.) and serve out his unexpired term as North Carolina’s third congressional district representative.

Mr. Jones of Farmville, N.C., died Feb. 10.

The primary election for Representative Jones’s seat, which he held from 1995 until his death, will be April 30. The general election or primary runoff will be July 9. In the event of a runoff, the general election will be Sept. 10.

The third congressional district includes all or part of 17 counties, including Dare and Currituck counties, as well as Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock.

According to “The State” newspaper, among the 17 Republican candidates are three sitting state legislators (Reps. Greg Murphy, Phil Shepard, and Michael Speciale); two Currituck County commissioners (Paul Beaumont and Mike Payment); and a member of the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners (Eric Rouse).

The Republican field also includes three physicians, Kevin Baiko, who is medical director of the N.C. Cannabis Patient Network, pediatrician Joan Perry, and Rep. Murphy, who is a urological surgeon; a Beauford County country music singer (Don Cox); and Phil Law, a Marine Corps veteran and IT contractor who ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Jones in the 2016 and 2018 GOP primaries.

Mr. Law, whose campaign signs can be seen in Southern Shores, lives in Jacksonville.

The six declared Democrats are New Bern Mayor Dana E. Outlaw; former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas; Richard Bew, a retired Marine who served as a legislative director for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Ike Johnson, whom “The State” refers to as the chief executive officer of a mentoring organization; Ernest T. Reeves, a retired Army captain who lost to Mr. Jones in the 2016 general election; and Gregory Humphrey.

Shannon W. Bray and Tim Harris are vying for the Libertarian party’s nomination, and Greg Holt will be on the ballot in the general election for the Constitution Party, according to “The State” reporter Brian Murphy, who covers North Carolina’s congressional delegation from Washington for the Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham daily newspapers.

Mr. Murphy reports that five candidates filed for the race with a residential address outside of the district: Republicans Francis X. De Luca (Cary), Graham Boyd (Wake Forest), and Jeff Moore (Raleigh); Democrat Mr. Reeves (Greenville); and Libertarian Party candidate Ms. Bray (Apex).

The remaining Republican candidates, not mentioned above, are Gary Ceres, Chimer Davis Clark, Jr., and Celeste Cairns.

AT LAST NIGHT’S TOWN PLANNING BOARD MEETING . . . The Board voted unanimously to recommend to the Town Council ZTA 19-01, which seeks to restrict high-occupancy houses on the basis of their use and septic capacity, and not to recommend ZTA 19-01CUP, a similar measure that also included a provision allowing “high-density” vacation cottages under certain circumstances. The Board also denied the property owners of 64 Ocean Blvd. a variance that would have enabled them to build on their nonconforming lot there, despite being prevented from doing so by a Town Code zoning ordinance.


Ann G. Sjoerdsma, March 19, 2019

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