District 3 Congressional candidates debate in Chamber of Commerce forum

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All four candidates took the stage today at the Greenville Convention Center for their first forum at the Pitt County Chamber of Commerce Power Luncheon.

Greg Murphy, Allen Thomas, Tim Harris, and Greg Holt are all vying for North Carolina’s third district seat, which was formerly held by late Congressman Walter B. Jones.

Congressional hopefuls tackled questions on a variety of national and state topics, including their stances on the trade war with China and how it’s affecting farmers and fishermen.

“The federal government has not made plans to handle our vulnerabilities. If you’re going to impose tariffs, you need to be sure that you protect the most vulnerable parts of your economy. In eastern North Carolina you’re going to lose a generation of farmers,” said Allen Thomas, Democrat.

“Our fishing industry relies on the quality and they charge a little more because it costs more. So, if you can’t equal it out, get the tariffs in place to help them in the end,” said Greg Holt, Constitution Party.

“The greatest engine of our prosperity in this nation has been the ability to move goods and services across borders.  I’m the only person up here that’s going to tell you to get rid of tariffs. I’m the only person up here that’s going to tell you free trade has imbalances,” said Tim Harris, Libertarian.

“I believe in free trade, I believe in the free market. However, past administrations have put a blind eye to what China has done to so many of our industries. Is there a short term pain? For sure. Our farmers are definitely suffering because of dropping commodity prices, but hopefully, in the long term, they’ll be brought back to the table,” said Greg Murphy, Republican.

Government spending was another widely talked about issue, with all candidates saying national spending needed to be kept under control.

Candidates shared their stances on if and how they would cut military spending, along with their thoughts on healthcare reform and gun control.

Early one-stop voting kicks off tomorrow until September 6th.

You can find more information on early voting locations here.

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