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Political notebook: Reps. Budd, Hudson release campaign funding amounts

Campaign finance reports for April 1 to June 30 show that the campaign of U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-13, had $515,877 in cash on hand and Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8, had $955,767.

Budd began the reporting period with $305,477, and Hudson had $708,692.

Both congressmen are up for re-election in November 2020. In 2018, Hudson won his seat with 55.34% over Democrat Frank McNeill’s 44.66%. Budd won with 51.54% against Democrat Kathy Manning, who received 45.54% of the vote.

Hudson was first elected in 2012, and Budd, in 2016.

Hudson’s individual contributions total $165,769. Budd raised $174,633 through individual contributions.

The Federal Elections Commission’s online data list two challengers for Hudson — Democrat Scott Huffman, who had $13,246.19 on hand at the end of the latest reporting period, and Democrat Rodney Walker, who had $302.85 in ccash on hand at the end of the reporting period. Budd does not yet have any declared challengers, according to FEC data.

On Budd’s website, he thanked supporters for donating to his campaign, saying: “This past quarter, our campaign graciously received hundreds of contributions from North Carolinians who are concerned about the future of our nation. It was close, but we met our quarterly fundraising goal — entirely thanks to you.”

He noted that contributors included a parent from Salisbury who was thankful for his work on the opioid crisis.

State GOP leaders call governor’s budget strategy a ‘reckless ultimatum’

Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget on June 28 has still not come up for an override vote in the General Assembly, but Republican leaders remain on the offensive in condemning the governor’s action.

State Republican leaders praised their budget for including pay raises for teachers, capital improvement project funding and hurricane relief.

“Hurricane relief funding, teacher and state employee raises, and a portfolio of statewide community enhancement projects are stuck in Gov. Cooper’s political spiderweb as he chooses to hold them hostage over one pet project,” said Jeff Hauser, a spokesman for the state Republican Party. “Instead of doing the right thing for North Carolina and signing a responsible pro-growth budget, Cooper is choosing to tell the people that they don’t matter; only his re-election campaign does.”

Cooper wants Medicaid expansion to be included in the budget and the state to invest more in public schools and teacher pay, advocating for bigger raises than Republicans proposed. He also does not agree with providing more tax breaks for corporations.

Meanwhile, Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said in a news release Monday that Republicans have been stalling on a budget override vote and instead have focused on finding a replacement for a Republican lawmaker who resigned after pleading guilty to cyberstalking.

“They should put that same energy toward negotiating a better budget that expands affordable health care, guarantees school construction funding, and puts the needs of North Carolinians first,” Goodwin said.

Cooper has argued that his veto was not an ultimatum and that he wants everything to be on the negotiating table.

State Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, has also been criticizing Cooper’s veto of late, saying in his weekly newsletter that funding for Rowan County capital improvement projects is now uncertain, since Cooper refuses to negotiate on the budget separately from the Medicaid issue.

“It’s not right to block all this funding just because of one policy disagreement,” Ford said. “The governor is holding Rowan and Stanly counties’ funding hostage over Medicaid expansion, and he refuses to drop his ultimatum so negotiations on the budget can move forward.”

The state government does not shut down if a budget is not agreed on, but with school starting in August the pressure to resolve the budget may increase as adjustments for salary increases and school enrollment are required.

The General Assembly included more than $34 million in capital funding for kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and more than $12.6 million in capital funding for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Funding in Rowan County includes $50,000 for Bell Tower Park; $50,000 for Community Care Clinic of Rowan County for a Missions of Mercy dental clinic in Salisbury; $49,100 for the West Rowan Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of equipment; and several other projects.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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