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Political notebook: Budd to vote ‘no’ on impeachment, Hudson says there’s ‘zero evidence’

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-13, announced last week he will vote “no” on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump after the House Judiciary Committee sent them to the House floor.

Meanwhile, Rep. Richard Hudson posted on social media Tuesday that House Democrats had “zero evidence President Donald J. Trump committed an impeachable offense.”

He continued, “They continue to prioritize impeachment over the American people, ignoring the long list of important things Congress needs to get done like lowering drug prices, securing the border and supporting our troops.”

The impeachment inquiry focuses on Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate 2020 political rival Joe Biden while withholding as leverage military aid the country relies to counter Russia as well as his efforts to block the House investigation.

Budd said the House Democrats were running a “show trial” against Trump from start to finish.

“They brought forward no witnesses who were directed by the president to engage in any kind of bribe, extortion scheme, or other poll-tested crime House Democrats decided to pursue,” he said. “Even Speaker Pelosi admitted that her caucus had their eyes on impeachment for ‘a couple years.’”

The two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction — were approved in a partisan split in the House’s Judiciary Committee on Friday.

The House is expected to approved the articles this week.

The Associated Press contributed.

Little competition so far for local 2020 races

No challengers filed for office in the second week of 2020 filing for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, state Senate District 33, state House districts 67, 76 and 77, and Rowan County Commission. 

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, a Republican, filed Dec. 3.

State Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, as well as N.C. Reps. Harry Warren, R-76, Julia Howard, R-77, and Wayne Sasser, R-67, filed in the first week.

County commissioners Craig Pierce and Mike Caskey, Republicans, are seeking another term, too. No other people have filed.

The Kannapolis City Council race is also on the ballot in next year. Kevin Clark and Anita Parker have filed for the Kannapolis City Schools Board of Election Area I seat. Todd Adams, who is currently on the board, filed for Kannapolis City Schools Board of Election Area II.

Filing continues to Friday at noon.

To file, candidates should go to the Rowan County Board of Elections office, at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W. D10.

Local legislators named 2019 Jobs Champions

State Reps. Harry Warren, R-76, Julia Howard, R-77, and Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, were named 2019 jobs champions in the N.C. Chamber of Commerce’s Annual How They Voted Report.

The report details lawmakers’ voting records on key bills identified as critical to preserving and enhancing a positive climate for business and job creation in North Carolina. This year’s “Jobs Champion” voting record was calculated using votes on 38 bills, including 25 so-called pro-jobs bills and 13 anti-jobs bills. A legislator with a voting record above 80% is considered a “jobs champion.” 

“Transcending politics, this publication is a straightforward tally of who showed up when given the opportunity to improve our state’s competitive footing and create jobs in our communities,” N.C. Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido wrote in the publication.

Ford said it was a privilege to be recognized as a jobs champion.

“My voting record is just further proof of what I stand for in North Carolina,” he said. “I know how hard working the men and women of this great state are and I want to ensure that we as legislators are doing the most we can to support and fight for the policies that fuel job growth and economic prosperity.” 

Warren said the N.C. Chamber saw his voting record in support of conservative, pro-growth reforms that include lower taxes, less regulation and balanced budgets.

“During my time in office, we have helped transform North Carolina into the best state for business and one of the fastest growing economies in the country,” Warren said. “I look forward to continuing this important work to create a stronger economy for the people of Rowan County and citizens across the state.”

Howard also spoke of her voting record supporting jobs, business and free markets.

“The pro-growth reforms that we have implemented over the past several years have helped fuel North Carolina’s economy and create better economic opportunities for hardworking families,” she said. “I look forward to continuing these efforts and keep North Carolina moving forward.”

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