The race to represent NC’s 3rd District features an incumbent with a little more than a year in Congress versus a longshot candidate.
Congressman Greg Murphy won a special election in September 2019 to fill Walter B. Jones Jr.’s seat in the House of Representatives. Jones, a Republican, served in Congress from 1995 until his death in February 2019. He was 76.
Daryl T. Farrow is challenging Murphy in this fall’s general election. This is Farrow’s second attempt at running to represent the 3rd District. According to a February 2019 report from WITN in Washington, Farrow filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to appear on the ballot for the 2019 special election.
NC’s 3rd District is comprised of 15 counties along North Carolina’s coast, from Onslow in the south up to Currituck and Camden on the Virginia border. It also includes southern Pitt County.
This is the third article in North Carolina News Daily’s series on races to represent North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives. We’ve already posted breakdowns for the 1st District and 2nd District, if you’d like to catch up.
Now, let’s take a look at Murphy and Farrow:
Incumbent: Greg Murphy (R)
Years in Congress: 1
Committees: House Committee on Education and Labor; House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Previous political experience: NC House of Representatives (2015-19)
Background: Before getting into politics, Murphy was a doctor. The official biography on his Congressional website says Murphy still practices medicine.
Murphy attended medical school at the University of North Carolina. He later did his urology and renal transplantation residency in Lexington, Ky., at the University of Kentucky. He later came back to North Carolina to establish a practice in Greenville.
Murphy served as the chief of urology at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, and he spent three years as the chief of staff at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
Platform: Murphy’s main accomplishment in the General Assembly was the passage of the STOP and HOPE acts. Both pieces of legislation were designed to fight the opioid epidemic that hit North Carolina.
Murphy has said he wants to lower prescription drug prices, but he opposed H.R.3. That Democrat-sponsored bill proposes giving the health department the power to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Murphy explained his opposition to the legislation in an editorial posted on The Hill.
He also sponsored the Open Schools Responsibly Act in July. This bill offered liability protection to schools that opened during the coronavirus pandemic.
Challenger: Daryl Farrow (D)
Background: Farrow’s campaign website says the 59-year-old was born in Trenton and is the seventh of nine children. He went to community colleges in Jones and Craven counties, also attending Kansas State. The website also says Farrow served in the Navy and is a businessman.
Platform: Farrow’s campaign touches on healthcare and climate change. He aims to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.
Farrow calls climate change “an existential threat.”
“Climate change poses a personal threat to our nation and, most importantly, to the entire world,” his website says.
What Does All of This Mean?
The race feels like it’s going to be a landslide for Murphy. The district has sent a Republican to Congress in 13 straight elections. According to the sources BallotPedia uses to gauge races, this part of the state is a strong Republican area.
Remember: Walter B. Jones, Jr., a Republican, was elected to represent NC’s 3rd District in 1995, and he remained in office until his death in February 2019.
Jones’ political career proved interesting, given his family’s politics. He was the son of Rep. Walter B. Jones Sr., a Democrat who represented the North Carolina’s 1st District in Congress from 1966 to 1992. Walter Sr. died in 1992 at the age of 79.
Walter Jr. represented Pitt County in the NC General Assembly from 1982-92 as a member of the Democrats. He switched parties ahead of his election to Congress in 1994, and a Republican has represented the district ever since.
Don’t forget, NCND will cover each district leading into the election. Drop into our Law coverage for the bird’s-eye view of our state’s politics!