Let’s Take a Look at the Race for NC’s 8th District

Let’s Take a Look at the Race for NC’s 8th District

Republican incumbent Richard Hudson has an extensive political background, and he currently represents North Carolina’s 8th District. Democratic challenger Pat Timmons-Goodson has an extensive legal background, and she wants to flip NC’s 8th district.

The 8th District runs across central North Carolina, from Cumberland and Moore counties in the east to Cabarrus County in the west. A major change arrived in the district with the last redistricting: Fort Bragg now falls into the 8th only. 

The military base was split over multiple districts for years, but the most-recent round of court battles over gerrymandering changed that. This year marks the first time since 1992 that the base and Cumberland County are in one Congressional district.

Citizens called for changing the name “Fort Bragg,” which hails from the Confederate general Braxton Bragg. According to a McClatchy story from June, Timmons-Goodson supported removing Bragg’s name from the base while Hudson said decisions regarding the names of military bases “should be made at a local level.”

This is the eighth story in North Carolina News Daily’s series previewing North Carolina’s Congressional elections. The first seven are here: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, 5th District, 6th District and 7th District.

Now, let’s meet the 8th District candidates:

Incumbent: Richard Hudson (R)

Image courtesy of Rep. Richard Hudson.

Years in Congress: 7

Committees: Committee on Energy and Commerce

Background: Hudson served as the chief of staff for three members of the U.S. House from 2005-11 before he was elected to Congress in 2012. He worked for Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) from 2005-06, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) from 2006-08, and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) from 2008-11.

Key Endorsement: Conservative groups FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity gave Hudson high marks. His official U.S. House website says he is a “strong and vocal defender” of the 2nd Amendment and boasts about his “A+ rating” from the NRA.

Platform: GovTrack lists Hudson among the most conservative members of the U.S. House. The website’s ideology scale has him in line with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump. Speaking of supporting Trump, Hudson voted in line with the president 92.7% of the time over the past three-and-a-half years. He voted against the president’s policy views just 12 times since Trump took office.

Challenger: Pat Timmons-Goodson (D)

Image courtesy of Pat Timmons-Goodson.

Previous political experience: North Carolina District Court, North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court

Background: Timmons-Goodson is the first Black woman to serve on North Carolina’s Supreme Court. Gov. Mike Easley appointed her to the position in 2006. She served on the court until 2012. Before serving on the state Supreme Court, Timmons-Goodson worked as an assistant district attorney, as a district court judge in Fayetteville, and later on the state Court of Appeals.

President Barack Obama nominated her to be a federal judge in 2014, Timmons-Goodson’s campaign website says. It also says Sens. Richard Burr (NC) and Mitch McConnell (Ky.) blocked her nomination.

Key endorsements: Equality North Carolina, NC Association of Educators, Congressional Black Caucus PAC, and End Citizens United

Platform: Timmons-Goodson backs a slate of progressive actions when it comes to jobs, the economy and healthcare. She supports the following actions: expanding Medicaid, sending another round of economic relief for those affected by the pandemic, creating jobs through infrastructure and environmental projects, and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Here’s what all of that means…

The Cook Political Report included this race on its nationwide list of 91 competitive Congressional races. The organization’s website says the 8th District election is among the 15 that lean Republican, and a poll added to FiveThirtyEight on Tuesday has Timmons-Goodson trailing Hudson by just two points. 

This district has flipped back and forth between Republicans and Democrats four times over the past 45 years. This 2020 election could mark the fifth.

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