Jones draws 2nd challenger; Judge, Boswell file for District 6 seat

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Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, a candidate for state Senate in Senate District 1, files for the May Republican primary at the Chowan Board of Elections office in Edenton Monday. With Steinburg is his wife, Marie.


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

U.S. Congressman Walter Jones will face at least two Republican challengers in his bid for a 13th term, as Phil Law on Monday became the first candidate to file for Jones’ seat in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District.

Elsewhere on the first day of filing for state and federal offices, both state Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, and Dare County businessman Clark Twiddy filed as expected for the open seat in the newly drawn Senate District 1. The 11-county district includes all area counties.

Also filing for the Legislature on Monday was Eddy Goodwin, a former state Ferry Division director and Chowan Commissioner. Goodwin is seeking the open seat in House District 1 that Steinburg is vacating for his state Senate bid. Following redistricting, House District 1 now includes Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties.

Also filing for re-election on Monday was state Rep. Howard Hunter III, D-Hertford. Hunter is seeking re-election in the newly drawn House District 5, which includes Pasquotank, Gates and Hertford counties.

In the only other legislative district with local impact, Democrat Tess Judge filed to run against state Rep. Beverly Boswell, R-Dare, who also filed, in the newly drawn House District 6.

In the largest race affecting northeastern North Carolina this year, Law, a Marine veteran and Jacksonville resident, became the first candidate to file for the race, based on a spreadsheet summarizing Monday's filings from the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. Jones, a 12-term GOP congressman, has already announced he plans to seek re-election. Also planning a bid for the seat is Scott Dacey, a Republican Craven County commissioner running as a strong supporter of President Donald Trump.

Law ran in the 2016 GOP primary against Jones, garnering only 20 percent of the vote but garnering more votes than Taylor Griffin for second place. In a statement announcing his candidacy on Sunday, Law argued, like Dacey, that Jones is not supporting Trump enough on curbing illegal immigration or other issues.

"Our people deserve better than what they have now — and I will fight for eastern North Carolina in DC like I did for America over in Iraq," Law said.

In House District 6, Boswell is running to serve a district reconfigured following successful lawsuits against Republican gerrymanders across the state, and would serve Dare, Currituck, Hyde and Pamlico counties if re-elected.

Boswell, a former Dare County commissioner, commented in an email announcement that she's supported cutting taxes and eliminating burdensome regulations to benefit district residents and businesses. She also touted her strong attendance record at the General Assembly, claiming to have been present for 943 out of 956 votes since January 2017, while still working at a medical clinic in Nags Head.

Vying also for the District 6 seat is Judge, a Democrat who’s also from Dare County. In an announcement released by the NC House Democratic Caucus, Judge said she's a local businesswoman who's worked in hospitalty management. She said district residents deserve a "tireless representative who will listen, and be responsive to their concerns and will provide timely constituent services."

Though not citing any experience in elected office, Judge said her leadership roles in the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and on the Outer Banks Hospital Board are among her qualifications to serve in the Legislature. The announcement also states that "investing in education and job training" will be themes of her campaign.

Filing for the May primaries continues through Feb. 28.