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Greg Murphy wins GOP primary runoff for North Carolina House seat

Greg Murphy wins GOP primary runoff for North Carolina House seat
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Greg Murphy edged out Joan Perry in the Republican primary runoff in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday, securing his spot in the special election to replace the late Rep. Walter JonesWalter JonesSupreme Court declines to hear case challenging unlimited super PAC fundraising Experts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge MORE (R-N.C.). 

With 56 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Murphy, who carried more than 63 percent of the vote to Perry's more than 36 percent.

Murphy’s win means that he will face off against Democrat Allen Thomas, Libertarian Tim Harris and Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt in a special election on Sept. 10. Whoever wins that contest will replace Jones, who died in February after representing North Carolina’s 3rd District in the House for more than 20 years.

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The 3rd District has traditionally been friendly territory for Republicans. Not only did Jones represent the district for decades, but President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE carried it in 2016 by more than 20 points. 

Murphy and Perry emerged as the two top vote-getters in a crowded Republican field when the initial primary was held in April. Neither candidate, however, managed to secure the 30 percent necessary to win the nomination, sending the two contenders to a runoff. 

Murphy’s victory in the runoff is a letdown for some Republicans who have grown increasingly concerned with the shrinking number of women in their House conference.

Following the 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats picked up some 40 seats in the House, the number of Republican women in the lower chamber dropped from 23 to 13. By comparison, 89 Democratic members are women.

Perry, a pediatrician, won the support of all 13 women in the House Republican Conference.

Meanwhile, Murphy, a state representative and urological surgeon, was backed by prominent male conservatives, including Reps. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsMark Meadows joins Conservative Partnership Institute Ex-Trump chief of staff dismisses role of rally in Capitol riot Trump ex-chief says Senate vote signals impeachment effort 'dead on arrival' MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis Portman's exit underscores Republican identity crisis Portman planned exit sets off Ohio free-for-all MORE (R-Ohio), two founders of the House Freedom Caucus who gravitated toward Murphy after he vowed to join the group if elected. 

The runoff campaign attracted more than $1.3 million in outside spending, including from the House Freedom Action Fund, a PAC affiliated with the Freedom Caucus, which dropped $236,000 opposing Perry in the contest.

Another group, the Winning For Women Action Fund, which backs female Republican candidates, spent more than $680,000 supporting Perry and opposing Murphy in the runoff.