ALBEMARLE — In a redrawn 8th District, Congressman Richard Hudson’s reelection bid for his fifth term in the United State Congress could be his most competitive yet — but when it comes to financial resources, the Republican congressman retains an advantage.
Last week, Hudson’s campaign announced that it has raised over $3 million cycle-to-date and has purchased a $1.5 million broadcast/cable TV ad buy with Spectrum.
Nearly 70% of “Hudson for Congress” contributions have come from individuals in North Carolina, according to an official campaign press release.
“We’re 100-plus days out, so it’s a good time to start laying out the structure of what the campaign is going to look like in the fall,” Hudson, a 48-year-old Concord resident who once worked as an aide to former GOP Congressman Robin Hayes, told SCJ on July 20.
Last year, a court-ordered redistricting changed the official map of North Carolina’s 8th District. The area, which stretches from Cabarrus to Cumberland counties, now includes all of Cumberland County and now excludes its previous share of Rowan County (where Hudson won 76% of the vote in 2018).
“With the changes to the district, it will be a more competitive election, but I’ve been in tough elections in the past — we’ve won some tough races in most of this district,” said Hudson, who has held the seat since 2013. “I just look forward to introducing myself to the new folks, and we feel pretty good about where we are.”
This fall, Hudson will face a new opponent: Democrat Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a 65-year-old Fayetteville native who became the first African American woman on the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2006.
Although Timmons-Goodson outraised Hudson over the past three months ($846,000 to $329,000), she only has $619,000 cash in hand compared with Hudson’s $1.7 million.
On July 17, Cook Political Report, a non-partisan online newsletter, changed the 8th District’s rating from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.” The Cook Report currently gives the district a partisan voting score of “R +8,” which predicts that Republicans will perform eight points better in the district than nationally.
“I’ve always looked at reelection as a referendum on my record, the job I’ve done, and what my vision is for the future,” Hudson said. “That’s my focus. If you do a good job, reelection will take care of itself. I’ve remained focused on the concerns of my constituents: namely, getting this economy going again, taking care of our veterans, and taking care of our soldiers and their families in Fort Bragg.”
With Congress voting on the newest version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act this week, Hudson stated that he is proud to have inserted a provision in the bill; his contribution ensures that veterans who were exposed to dangerous chemicals in Syrian burn pits — many of whom were from Fort Bragg — will have access to care at United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Prior to Hudson’s efforts, Syria was not on the list of the countries that was being looked at for victims of burn pits.
“I work very hard to be a representative who’s in touch with his district and responds to its needs,” Hudson said. “I’ve worked across the aisle with Democrats and I’ll work with anyone to get things done for our district.”
In a topic that spans both healthcare and the economy, Hudson mentioned that he has questioned the direction that N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has taken regarding the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m really concerned that the governor hasn’t been using science to make these decisions, and I’m concerned about the ability of our state to get tests processed quickly enough,” he said. “I’m concerned about some of the decisions of what to reopen and what not to reopen. I don’t understand why it’s okay to stand with a group of a thousand with no mask at a protest, but you can’t open a church.”
As far as his outlook on a potential coronavirus vaccine, Hudson said that he’s hopeful that it will be available to the general public by the first of next year, but no shortcuts will be taken “on the science and the safety” of the vaccine.
“We’re going to make sure that any therapeutics or vaccines that come to market have gone through the rigorous process of making sure they’re safe.”