After competing in a contentious Republican primary race, Congressman Walter Jones defeated both of his opponents, securing 43 percent of the vote.
"I've always had faith in the voters that they could see through the political smokescreens. This result was as much about the character of the voters as it was about the candidates. I'm proud to represent these fine people," Jones said in a release.
During the campaign, Jones and Scott Dacey, a Craven County commissioner who campaigned on a pro-Trump message and outraised the congressman, received most of the attention. Jones, who votes out of line with President Trump more than any other Republican in Congress, defeated Dacey by about 15 percentage points. Phil Law came in second with 29 percent of the vote.
A poll conducted in late March by Civitas, a conservative public policy organization, showed Jones leading Dacey by 9 percentage points and Law by 22 points, with 21 percent of respondents undecided.
This is Jones's last run for office. He's represented the 3rd Congressional District, which includes 17 counties in Eastern North Carolina, for almost 23 year years. Jones will likely keep his seat in the general election, as no Democratic or independent candidates filed to run. In his final term in office, Jones plans to continue to focus on constituent services and reducing the national deficit, said Doug Raymond, his campaign manager.
“First and foremost, it’s always constituent services and military services. But I think the votes that he had to draw attention to the deficit have gotten a lot of attention, and it’s got people looking a lot harder at our deficit and some of the long-term ramifications of that," Raymond said. "That’s going to be at the top of his list for the remainder of time he’s there.”
Unless the newly formed North Carolina Green Party nominates a candidate, Jones will run unopposed in the general election. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.