Well, we now know when folks will be voting to replace Walter Jones in Congress. We just don’t know exactly HOW MANY people will be running or HOW MUCH it’s going to cost those small, poorer northeastern counties who were counting on ONE 2019 election and may now have to finance up to FOUR.
Filing for the race will occur between March 4 and March 8. (So, some of these folks who have been running their mouths lately will finally have to put up or shut up.) Absentee voting starts on March 15.
Right now, thirty percent of the vote will be required to avoid a runoff.
A primary election will be held on April 30. If no one gets 30 percent, the top two vote-getters will participate in a July 9 runoff. If someone gets 30 percent + 1, the July 9 vote will be the general election for this congressional seat.
If there is a runoff on July 9, the general election will take place on September 10.
The July 9 vote occurs the week after The Fourth and is known to be one of THE BIGGEST vacation travel weeks in the state. (Try finding someone at home during that week or the previous one.)
Labor Day this year will be on September 2. So, the September vote will have a little more cushion from THAT big holiday.
A bigger concern will be the burden on county budgets in that congressional district. At most, many of those counties were planning on only ONE election in November for municipal and other local races. With this schedule, many of them could find themselves now having to administer and PAY FOR a total of four elections. That could prove to be quite a hit on the taxpayers.
We’ve seen a possible 12 to 15 candidates — Republican, Libertarian, Democrat and unaffiliated — who claim to be eyeing the race. If even half of those actually file, it’s going to be tough to clear the 30 percent mark to avoid a runoff.