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Political notebook: Democrats target local districts, but Republican congressmen not worried

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

One local congressman says efforts by Democrats to target his district in 2018 signal that the party’s power is slipping away.

A recently released list of Democratic Party targets in 2018 includes the 8th and 13th congressional districts in North Carolina. Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican, just started his third term representing the 8th District. Rep. Ted Budd, also a Republican, is in his first term representing the 13th District.

A document released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says House Republicans and President Donald Trump are pushing unpopular policies. Recent protests and marches are signs of the opposition, the document says. In an effort to capitalize on opposition to the Republican agenda, Democrats released their list of targeted districts.

Hudson, elected in November with nearly 59 percent of the vote, says there’s only one reason they’ve targeted his seat in 2018.

“(Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi and the liberal Washington establishment are focused on me for one reason and one reason only: They are scared,” Hudson said in an emailed statement. “They know their power is slipping away and being sent back to the states and to our communities. I look forward to speeding up that process.”

Budd won the general election with 56 percent of the vote. His 2016 campaign manager and chief of staff, Andrew Bell, said it’s unsurprising that Democrats have targeted the 13th District.

“Rep. Budd is already putting the liberals and Washington establishment on notice,” Bell said in an emailed statement. “Rep. Budd campaigned on shaking up Washington, and that is the last thing career politicians like Nancy Pelosi want. While they are busy thinking of ways to defeat him, he will be hard at work draining the swamp.”

Burr, Tillis like Supreme Court pick

When Trump this week named his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, he got immediate support from North Carolina’s senators.

Trump named federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Judge Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch sits on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Merrick Garland, the District of Columbia Circuit’s chief judge, was previously nominated by former President Barack Obama. Republicans in the Senate refused to consider Garland’s nomination as Obama’s term wound down.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said he hopes his colleagues in the Senate, regardless of party, will thoughtfully consider Gorsuch.

“Judge Neil Gorsuch is an incredibly qualified and mainstream choice to serve on the Supreme Court,” Tillis said in a news release. “He has proven himself to be a judge who approaches every case before him with fairness and bases his decisions on the rule of law.”

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he hopes the Senate will swiftly confirm Gorsuch.

“In 2006, the Senate confirmed him without opposition to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit,” Burr said in a news release. “Gorsuch is a judge who will continue to operate in accordance with the rule of law and respect for the Constitution.”

Gorsuch needs 60 votes to be confirmed for the Supreme Court. That threshold will require some Democrats to vote for him.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

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