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Murphy sworn in, assumes duties as 3rd District congressman

Congress New Members-4

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. (left) conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., joined by his wife Wendy Murphy and mother-in-law Carol Simes (right) during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday.

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

State Rep. Greg Murphy officially became U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy after taking the oath of office during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

“We’re excited and ready to get to work,” Murphy said a day before his swearing-in. “We’re trying to get our staff put together and get our office up and running.”

The ceremony came one week after Murphy, a Greenville Republican and urological surgeon, won a special election to fill the 3rd Congressional District seat left vacant by the death of Walter B. Jones Jr. in February.

Murphy was sworn in even though the results of the Sept. 10 election won’t be finalized until after a canvass on Friday. The official results have Murphy winning with nearly 62 percent of the vote. His nearest challenger, Democrat Allen Thomas, finished with 37 percent of the vote. Two third-party candidates, Greg Holt and Tim Harris, collectively received less than 1 percent of the vote.

“I think with our margin of victory there is no doubt I was the victor in that election,” Murphy said.

Murphy said his campaign staff was contacted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Friday and told the swearing-in ceremony would be Tuesday.

Also taking the oath of office on Tuesday was Dan Bishop, a Republican who won a special election, also held on Sept. 10, in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

With Murphy and Bishop taking their seats, it will be the first time since January that there are no vacancies in the U.S. House of Representatives.

After taking the oath of office, Murphy immediately assumes the duties of a U.S. representative. He has been assigned Jones’ former office at 2333 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.

“I am very humbled. I have big shoes to fill. He was a devoted servant to the people of eastern North Carolina,” Murphy said, referring to Jones.

Murphy’s next priorities are rounding out his congressional staff and setting up his district offices. He has hired Steve Moffitt as his chief of staff. Moffitt recently held that same position for U.S. Rep. Steve Russell of Oklahoma.

Murphy said he plans to look for district offices in Greenville, Edenton and Jacksonville next week.

“I have a certain budget to live by and will do what is best for accessibility and cost-effectiveness,” he said.

The 3rd Congressional District encompasses 17 counties, stretching from Onslow County to the Virginia state line. All area counties are included in the district.

Murphy pledged to represent all residents of the district.

“I am there to represent all the people of the 3rd Congressional District, not just the people who voted for me,” Murphy said. “Our office is going to be one that put constituent services first. We are there to serve them in the best and most intensive manner possible.”

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

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