With early voting over and election day right around the corner, the race for the Third District Republican Primary is in the final stretch. The three-way Primary contest features the incumbent Walter Jones squaring off against Craig Weber of Morehead City and Bob Cavanaugh of Newport.  Take our poll at the end of this post and tell us how you favor in this race.

The Third District is composed of portions of seventeen counties, stretching from Corolla in the north to North TopSail Beach in the South, from Hatteras Island in the east to Goldsboro in the west.  It’s a unwieldy district with several counties split up into two and sometimes three Congressional districts.  Not the easiest county in North Carolina for campaigning. The district is also one of the most military districts in the nation and includes Camp LeJeune and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Walter Jones has held the seat since 1994, when he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican after losing the Democrat primary in 1992 while vying for his father’s seat in District 1. Walter has his detractors in Dare County as well as some of his biggest supporters. His work on issues affecting the fisherman of coastal North Carolina wins him a lot of support. According to one local fisherman, ” Walter Jones has been working non stop for the fishing industry…” Jones’ stance on campaign finance, trade and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the other hand, has angered some of his constituents.

His stance on the wars has brought him two Primary challengers this year. Both Bob Cavanaugh and Craig Weber are former Marines from Carteret County. Carteret County is a stone’s throw from Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune.

This is Weber’s third shot at unseating Jones. In 2006 and 2008, Weber ran as a Democrat.  He’s returned to his roots and is now running now as a Republican. When asked recently about his party affiliation as Democrat, Weber replied, “I have always been a Republican. I went that way [Democrat] to ‘run’ against Walter Jones… I did it for My Party, My Country, and My Fellow Marines.” What particularly infuriated Weber was Jones “turning ‘against’ the War On Terror, and then stating on the Floor of the Armed Services Committee that ‘Someone in our government should ‘apologize’ to the people of Iraq’.” Weber is hoping that the third time’s a charm. You can read more about Weber and why he’s running here.

Cavanaugh is running because “Quite frankly, I simply got fed up with the Federal government and decided to take action. I did not feel I was being adequately represented in Congress”.  His list of grievances with Jones is long and includes many of the same issues that brought Weber into the race. This includes Jones going “soft on the War on Terror” and “breaking his term limits pledge”.  You can read more about Cavanaugh and why he’s running here.

Take our poll and tell us who you like in this race: