Reece Gardner: It's time to exercise your right to vote
The polls are open, and One-Stop early voting is underway.
There are three sites open for voting here in Lenoir County:
La Grange Community Building, 410 E. Washington St., La Grange
Cooperative Extension Office, 1791 Hwy. 11-55, Kinston
Teachers Memorial Gym, 500 Marcella Dr., Kinston
Polls are open every day, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., until Friday, April 26, except for being closed on Sundays and for a holiday observance on Friday, April 19.
Voting times on Saturdays are from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The polls will then reopen Tuesday, April 30 for the primary.
Folks, there is really no excuse for registered voters to not vote during this enormous time span. This election, as you know, is the special election called to fill the remainder of the late Congressman Walter Jones' unexpired term, which runs until January 2021.
There are 26 candidates vying for this office — 17 Republicans, six Democrats, two Libertarians and one from the Constitution Party.
If a candidate receives 30 percent or more of the vote in his/her primary, that candidate moves on to compete in the general election. If not, a second primary will be held July 9 and the winners there will move on to the general election on Sept. 10.
It is highly likely that due to the enormous number of candidates running, a second primary will be called, except for the candidates for the Libertarian and Constitution Parties, which will be decided on April 30.
Candidates in the lineup from this immediate area, most of whom you probably know, are Republicans Eric Rouse, Dr. Joan Perry and Michele Nix and Democrat Allen Thomas.
They, like a significant number of others in this election, are outstanding in every way. Eric is a highly accomplished businessman and county commissioner, Joan is an outstanding pediatrician and a leader in education, Michele is well-known for her business expertise and her statewide leadership of the Republican Party and Allen has received many accolades for his promotion of the Global TransPark and his service as mayor of Greenville.
It has been a pleasure for me to have had them as guests on my television program. I was also pleased to have the opportunity to interview state legislator Dr. Greg Murphy, and I am looking forward to talking in the coming days prior to April 30 with Ernest Reeves of Greenville, Michael Speciale of New Bern and Jeff Moore of Raleigh.
The Third Congressional District is among the top five largest in the entire country, so we owe a special debt of gratitude to those willing to take on the enormous task of seeking to represent us in the U.S. House.
As you know, you will on April 30 be voting in your party's primary, but if you are registered unaffiliated (which approximately 7,600 are in Lenoir County) you can choose to vote in the primary of your choice.
Be sure to vote!