NC-03: Republican Runoff Candidates Hold First Debate

WINTERVILLE – Earnings spots in the Republican primary runoff for the Third Congressional District special election, Dr. Greg Murphy and Dr. Joan Perry entered an arena that was an altogether different dynamic from that of the 17 candidate field in the first primary. One of those differences is the opportunity (or challenge) of competing in a one-on-one debate, and that’s exactly what the two congressional hopefuls did Monday night in eastern North Carolina. Another, which was also on display, is a sharpening of attacks and acrimony between the candidates.

The Daily Reflector, of Greenville, has been following the race since the death of late Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. necessitated an expedited special election, and they were at the debate to break down the action blow for blow.

From the Daily Reflector:

“The candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the 3rd District Congressional seat took shots at each other during a debate Monday for being dishonest in their advertisements. […]

“The people of the 3rd District are people of integrity and honesty — they do not  like being lied to,” Murphy told Perry in reference to an attack ad by WFW Action Fund that calls Murphy a tax-and-spend politician and utilizes a truncated and out-of-context quote from The Daily Reflector in an attempt to paint Murphy as anti-Trump.  

Murphy’s campaign is filing suit to stop the attack ad, Murphy said Monday prior to the debate.

He then asked Perry, “Do you speak for honesty and integrity? Is that what’s important? Do you renounce that ad and the group that did it? It is full of lies.”

Perry said she was not aware of the ad until Monday afternoon.

“Indeed, it did not come from my campaign,” Perry said  “It came from an independent expenditure. I would be happy to agree with you, Greg, that we have no negativity, but I first need to mention that I began to set the record straight 12 hours after the election when a group affiliated with you came out with an attack on me with complete untruths,” Perry said.  

Perry added, “I’m not going to renounce something that I haven’t investigated myself.” […]”

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After opening with a trading of gut punches about allegedly dishonest campaign ads, the substantive issues were addressed. That’s when things returned to more familiar territory, as the candidates’s positions were in near complete agreement. Thus, voters who have still yet to make up their mind between the two physicians, are left again to decipher how genuine each is in character and true political inclinations.

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To read the full recap at Daily Reflector, click here.

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