NEW BERN, N.C. (WAVY) — Four people have stepped forward to say they want to fill the vacancy created by the death of Congressman Walter Jones.
On Tuesday, Michele Nix became the fourth person to throw her name in the hat. Nix, who’s the Vice Chairwoman of the NC Republican Party, announced she has taken the first step toward running by filing with the Federal Elections Commission.
Nix issued the following statement Tuesday morning:
“Over the past four years, I have enjoyed traveling across North Carolina serving as Vice Chairwoman of the NC Republican Party. While I cannot fill the void left by the late Congressman Walter Jones, I am humbled to explore the opportunity with the people of the Third District.”
Rep. Michael Speciale, of New Bern, has also decided to run. The Republican representative is in his fourth term in the General Assembly. He represents District 3, which consists of a large portion of Craven County.
Rep. Phil Shepard said he too will run for the congressional seat. Shepard, also a Republican, is in his fifth term representing District 15 (Onslow County). His announcement stated, in part:
“Congressman Jones led our district with integrity and humility and his recent passing has left a deep and sad void in the halls of Congress. He served his country faithfully, putting the people of our great state first. He left big shoes to fill, but I promise to continue his legacy fighting for the families of North Carolina.”
Onslow County businessman Phil Law had announced earlier of his intentions to run for Congress again. The former Marine had made unsuccessful runs against Jones during the last two GOP primaries.
Gov. Roy Cooper has to formally announce the vacancy so a special election can be held. Congressman Jones passed away last Sunday and was buried on Thursday.