Pitt County state Rep. Greg Murphy tops the list of 17 Republican candidates competing in North Carolina’s special 3rd Congressional District primary election. Murphy’s 9,505 votes represent 22.5% percent of the total. Kinston pediatrician Joan Perry finishes second with 6,510 vots (15 percent). Murphy and Perry move on to a July 9 runoff election.

The winner will face Democrat Allen Thomas in a Sept. 10 general election. Thomas, a former Greenville mayor, secured 12,883 votes, 50 percent of those cast in a six-person Democratic primary.

Libertarian Tim Harris also advances to Sept. 10 after winning 75 (56%) of the 133 votes cast in that party’s primary.