Tags: walter jones | jesse helms | north carolina | 3rd district | scott thomas

Democrats Could Win Late Rep. Walter Jones' NC-3 District

Democrats Could Win Late Rep. Walter Jones' NC-3 District
(AP)

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019 06:21 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Barely 48 hours after the death Sunday of veteran Rep. Walter B. Jones, R.-N.C., speculation began in the congressman’s 3rd District (Eastern North Carolina) and in Washington, D.C., over what will happen to his House seat. 

Given the conservative nature of the district — a bastion of support for the late Republican Sen. and conservative hero Jesse Helms — the initial betting is that it will remain in Republican hands in the yet-to-be-determined special election. 

But a few experts are beginning to see a divisive Republican primary field offering Tar Heel Democrats a unique opportunity to put the 3rd District in their column.

Veteran GOP strategist Marc Rotterman, who engineered Jones’ initial election to Congress 1994, said as much when he spoke to Newsmax.

“The passing of Rep. Jones represents the best chance Democrats will have to regain this seat in decades,” Rotterman told us, “He was a unique fit for the district.  Although a Democratic contender has yet to emerge, I would suspect that the Democrats will field a well-funded, well-qualified candidate.”

Rotterman spoke to us as speculation began of Craven County District Attorney Scott Thomas as the Democratic standard-bearer in a special election.  Thomas is considered a centrist in the mold of fellow prosecutor Conor Lamb, who won the nationally-watched special election last year in Pennsylvania’s historically Republican 18th District.

Scott Thomas is the brother of Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas and the two have been likened to John and Robert Kennedy.

On the Republican side, the prospective field is as large as the likely field of Democratic presidential contenders for 2020.  The Carolina Journal listed eight possible contenders ranging from Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown of Onslow and State GOP Vice Chairman Michele Nix to three past primary opponents of Jones from 2014 to ’18. 

“It would not surprise me to see anywhere between 15 or 20 folks run for this seat,” former GOP political consultant Larry Shaheen told the Carolina Journal.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Barely 48 hours after the death Sunday of veteran Rep. Walter B. Jones, R.-N.C., speculation began in the congressman's 3rd District (Eastern North Carolina) and in Washington, D.C., over what will happen to his House seat.
walter jones, jesse helms, north carolina, 3rd district, scott thomas
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2019-21-13
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 06:21 AM
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