In re-election bid, Hudson focused on creating business-friendly environment

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

SALISBURY — In his bid for a third term, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8, says he’s focused on creating a business-friendly environment in North Carolina.

Hudson, a 44-year-old Concord resident, first took office in 2013. Before being elected to the U.S. House, he worked in politics — including being the district director for former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes and a congressional chief of staff. For a brief period, he also owned a consulting business.

In 2016’s 8th District Republican primary, Hudson faces a single challenger — business owner and Raeford resident Tim D’Annunzio. The pair of competitors are from opposite ends of the recently redrawn district. In his bid to oust Hudson, D’Annunzio frames himself as more conservative. Hudson responded by citing a National Journal rating that found Hudson was the most conservative member of Congress during the 2013 to 2015 session. Political advocacy groups Heritage Action and The American Conservative Union give Hudson 80 of 100 and 90.33 of 100, respectively.

“I’m working to advance conservative solutions that protect our rights and get our country back on track,” Hudson said in an email. “I’ve tried to take a common-sense, conservative approach to getting things done since my first days in office.”

Hudson says he’s stood up to Democrats and Republicans during his time in Congress when he doesn’t agree with their decisions.

“For example, I’ve never voted to raise the debt ceiling because I know our government can’t continue spending money they don’t have,” he said.

He also cited a 2015 bill he authored that would’ve stopped refugees from entering the United States until every person was confirmed not to be a terrorist threat.

When asked about his top priority if re-elected, Hudson said it’s always been jobs. The best way Washington, D.C. can help the business community, he said, is to “get out of the way.”

“We have a crisis in this country, and our businesses are struggling every day as they are forced to comply with more rules, more paperwork and more red tape coming out of Washington,” he said. “I remain committed to getting Washington out of the way and creating a friendly environment that empowers business to grow and create good-paying jobs in North Carolina.”

Citing examples, Hudson mentioned a measure he’s introduced called the Federal Sunset Act, which puts an expiration date on budgets and programs of federal agencies. Congress would then need to review and renew the budgets and programs for another, designated period. He said the measure will “root out the waste and abuse in federal spending.”

A measure called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was another example he mentioned. He said the measure aims to streamline workforce development programs and ensure that the unemployed have skills they need to find jobs.

When asked what policy position define him, he mentioned protecting 2nd amendment rights, reducing taxes, reining in wasteful government spending, and “protecting our homeland.” Hudson mentioned his 2015 refugee bill as one way he has worked to ensure America’s government is protecting its citizens. Called the American SAFE Act, it passed the U.S. House by a veto-proof majority. Since then, Hudson said, Senate Democrats have blocked the bill from being considered.

“While this legislation is a step in the right direction to help ensure we are safe and secure, the most important step is for the president to admit that his strategy to deal with ISIS is failing,” he said.

Hudson said America needs a president who will put forth a comprehensive plan to destroy the Islamic State. He said America must first secure its borders and then decide who can come into the country.

On education, Hudson stressed local control rather than federally mandated curriculum. A more individualized system, instead of Common Core, would serve the unique needs of students and provide families more choice, he said.

Hudson will face off against D’Annunzio on June 7 in the 8th District’s GOP primary. Because of a recent redistricting, the 8th District now includes several new parts of Rowan County. 8th District residents in Rowan County include people who: live south of Mooresville Road; outside of Salisbury’s eastern, southern or western city limits; the towns of Spencer and East Spencer. A majority of people who live in Rowan County also live in the 8th District.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.