RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A primary runoff for the special election in an eastern North Carolina congressional district will decide the Republican nominee in the race to succeed the late GOP Rep. Walter Jones Jr.

Voting precincts are opening Tuesday in 17 counties that compose the 3rd District. Voters are deciding between Joan Perry of Kinston and Greg Murphy of Greenville. Both are physicians. They were the top two vote-getters in the 17-candidate GOP primary in April.

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The winner advances to face Democrat Allen Thomas and two other candidates in the September general election. Jones died in February after 24 years in Congress.

The GOP runoff has attracted well over $1 million in spending by Washington-based independent groups for or against the candidates. About 3.5% of eligible voters in the runoff cast ballots early.

Precincts are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.