A special primary election to fill an eastern North Carolina congressional seat is set for next week. A crowded field of candidates will be on the ballot April 30.

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr.'s North Carolina congressional seat was expected to be up for grabs soon, but it happened more quickly than most people anticipated.

Months after the Republican announced his 2018 campaign would be his last, Jones' health faded. He died in February at 76.

Jones' death drew people from a broad political spectrum to praise his commitment to his constituents, his faith and his willingness to buck party leadership, such as when he opposed the Iraq War.

It also drew over two dozen candidates from four parties into an off-year special election to replace him in the GOP-leaning 3rd Congressional District.

With 17 Republican and six Democratic candidates, one or two runoffs could be required in July before a September general election.

Another unresolved race is the 9th Congressional district. State officials set a new election for September after the results were thrown out over concerns of ballot tampering. Parties will hold their primaries on May 14.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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