Hudson, Blue share similar opinions in 8th District race

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Both are serving in political positions and running for North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District, and incumbent Republican Richard Hudson and Democrat Antonio Blue even share many of the same opinions and priorities.

Blue, 53, is currently the mayor of the 576-acre town of Dobbins Heights — just south of Rockingham with a population of less than 900. Before becoming mayor, Blue served over 20 years in the Army, retiring as a sergeant first class. Blue took classes at several colleges while in the military but never received a degree.

Hudson, elected to the 8th Congressional District in 2012, was born in Southern Virginia, but graduated from a Charlotte High School and UNC Charlotte. Hudson, 42, founded Cabarrus Marketing Group and previously served as a staff member for multiple members of Congress.

Blue talked extensively about jobs and boosting the 8th district’s economy as part of his top concerns.

“We need to look at ways to utilize all the resources that we have in the 8th district and make those resources better,” Blue said. “Education is the key to creating job growth because when companies think about locating to places they tend to think about what kind education system is in place.”

As a part of jobs and economy issues, Blue said pushing for a livable minimum wage would be one of his priorities if elected.

He also listed ensuring veterans receive adequate care as a top concern.

“When a veteran answers the call, whether it’s dealing with ISIS, whether dealing with Ebola, they answer the call without question,” he said. “Then when they come back, should be taken care of.”

Hudson’s main priorities were slightly different. Like Blue, he said jobs and the economy are the most important issues.

“I don’t think we can create jobs, but I think we can prevent jobs creation and I think that’s what happening,” Hudson said. “There’s a lot of jobs out there, but, when I talk to employers, they can’t find people with the skills they’re looking for. We’ve got to make sure we are training people for the skills employers are looking for.”

Other priorities he listed included replacing the Affordable Care Act, keeping North Carolina’s agriculture industry strong and regulatory reform as some of his other priorities.

“We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world and I’m trying to stop the onslaught of regulations,” Hudson said. “There’s thousands and thousands of pages of regulations that come out every year. We need to have some common sense when it comes to regulations.”

If successful, Hudson and Blue could quickly begin making decisions on national issues, such as combating ISIS — a radical militant group in the Middle East — and addressing the national debt.

Blue said he agrees with the government authorizing airstrikes against ISIS. Blue said he would support sending American soldiers to combat ISIS, but wasn’t sure if it’s something America needed to do.

“That needs to be left more to the experts in the situation room,” Blue said.

When asked, Hudson said his opinion on how America should combat ISIS is to remain vigilant. He also said troops on the ground could be a good idea.

“The problem is that the world doesn’t take our presence very seriously,” “And, when he says we’re not going to put boots on the ground, it reassures the enemy that we’re not very serious. How do we expect our allies like Germany, France and Great Britain to put troops on the ground when we announce that we’re not going to do it?”

One of the best ways to reduce the nation’s debt level, Blue said, is to streamline various government departments by cutting staff. Hudson said Congress has done a good job of reducing the debt level and reducing spending in recent years, but should more closely scrutinize spending of government departments. Hudson said, if reelected, he would push for a bill that would force congress to more closely analyze spending in every government department.

Both candidates are vying for a district that starts near Lumberton, stretches west to include most of Union County, includes the southeastern portion of Rowan and ends near High Point. About 745,000 people live in the 8th congressional district and the largest age subset of the district’s residents are 45 to 54 years old, according to U.S. Census Data.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.