Elect 2012: Hudson, Keadle face runoff in 8th District to meet Kissell
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — The fight for the GOP nomination in the 8th Congressional District appears headed for a runoff, but the Rowan County resident who ran for that spot won’t be among the candidates.
Former congressional aide Richard Hudson and former Iredell County Commissioner Scott Keadle will head to a runoff this summer. That’s because neither candidate captured 40 percent of the vote.
Fred Steen, the former Landis mayor and state representative, took Rowan County with 38 percent of the vote. But he finished in fourth place among five candidates with 14 percent across the district. He could not be reached by press time late Tuesday.
Meanwhile, after easily defeating a Democratic primary challenger, U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell will now face what’s expected to be a tough challenge in a district made more favorable to Republicans by legislative redistricting.
Kissell, a former textile worker and school teacher, is seeking his third term. He defeated Lumberton attorney Marcus Williams 73 percent to 27 percent.
In the Republican primary, Hudson captured 32 percent of the vote, while Keadle landed 22 percent.
“Tonight was a tremendous victory because of our strong grassroots effort in every county, with hundreds of volunteers on the ground,” Hudson said in a press release Tuesday night. “We were outspent by Washington money, but we weren’t outworked.”
Vernon Robinson placed third with 18 percent of the vote, and John Whitley came in last with 13 percent.
Keadle plans to call for a runoff. He said he’s pleased with the results, which Keadle sees as a referendum against Hudson.
“Sixty-eight percent of the people here voted against Washington and voted for the people,” Keadle said. “They want government back from folks who’ve been running this country off a cliff.”
He said he’s honored to be the candidate who will be sent to a runoff, which would take place July 17 in North Carolina.
“I can’t thank enough all the voters and all the supporters of all the candidates who fought back against Washington,” Keadle said.
Hudson, for his part, called Keadle “the Washington special interest candidate” in his press release.
“I welcome the opportunity for a runoff because it will allow me to continue to share my conservative message with the people of the 8th District,” said Hudson. “This runoff will offer a clear contrast between a candidate from the district with a record as a problem solver in virtually every county versus a perennial candidate who has run 3 times in 3 different districts and couldn’t even vote for himself today because he doesn’t live in our district.”
The winner will take on Kissell in the November election.
“I appreciate the continued widespread support of the people of our district,” Kissell said in a statement Tuesday night, “as we work together to fight against bad trade deals, protect our seniors and veterans and work to ensure the absolute best future for working families here in North Carolina.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.