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Incumbents Budd, Hudson hold off Democrat challengers to retain congressional seats

SALISBURY — Republican Ted Budd retained his seat representing North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District with what appeared to be a sizable election night win over Democrat challenger Scott Huffman.

Budd will serve a third term in Washington, D.C., after capturing 263,270 votes, 68.26%, compared to Huffman’s 122,415 votes, according to unofficial election night results. Budd was heavily favored by Rowan County voters, capturing 48,916 votes or 68.26% of votes cast in the county for the congressional seat. In a year that saw historic turnout in Rowan County, Budd garnered 36,000 more votes in 2020 in Rowan than he did in his 2016 race against Democrat Bruce Davis.

I want to say thank you to my family, my friends, my staff, and each and every supporter who believed in our message and believed in me,” Budd said in a statement. “My promise to the voters of our district was to always fight for solutions that make a difference in people’s lives. To fight to give our fellow Americans more freedom from an oppressive government and the opportunity to pursue their American dream. Now more than ever, this fight is worth waging and this fight is worth winning. My family’s motto is to ‘just do what you say you’re going to do.’ I’ve been standing up to Washington for four years, and I can’t wait to get back in the fight for the next two.”

In 2019, the 13th District significantly increased in size when it was redrawn, expanding from including parts of five counties to including parts of 10 and stretching all the way to the Virginia border. Budd, a resident of Davie County, said that the redrawn 13th District led to a “lot more time on the road” during the campaign.

Budd said the revised district includes more rural areas and that he will be focused on fixing “agricultural problems” and expanding broadband in the district. Along with those issues, Budd said that his top priority will be economic development.

Huffman, who grew up in Spencer and graduated from North Rowan High School, received 22,742 votes, 31.74%, of the vote in Rowan County.

Budd significantly outpaced Huffman in fundraising throughout the race, raising over $2 million compared to Huffman’s $169,458 in total campaign receipts as of Oct. 14.

Despite the election night results, Huffman said in a statement posted to social media that he was glad to have helped North Carolina residents during his campaign.

“Despite being outraised $2 million to $200,000, my campaign’s Instant Impact Program provided more than 40,000 meals for people in my district; consider it our own form of COVID relief after Ted Budd left his people high and dry,” Huffman’s statement said. “This is not a concession or a loss. It’s me saying he won a rigged election that didn’t even require him to campaign.”

Hudson fends off Timmons-Goodson

In North Carolina’s eighth congressional district, incumbent Republican Richard Hudson appeared to have claimed victory over Democrat challenger Patricia Timmons-Goodson, according to unofficial election night results.

Hudson, who first assumed office in 2013, was elected for his fifth term after capturing 201,181 votes, 53.35%, compared to Timmons-Goodson garnering 175,891 votes, 46.65%. While Timmons-Goodson edged Hudson in absentee by-mail and early voting, Hudson saw a huge boost from Election Day voting, beating Timmons-Goodson 41,774 to 22,983 in votes cast on Tuesday.

Before North Carolina’s congressional districts were redrawn in 2019, some parts of Rowan County were included in the eighth district. In 2018, Hudson captured 23,730 votes or 75.78% of the vote in Rowan County against Democrat Frank McNeill. In 2016, Hudson won 30,169 votes or 73.33% of the vote in Rowan County over challenger Thomas Mills, who worked on Timmons-Goodson’s campaign. Now, the eighth congressional district stops at the Rowan-Cabarrus line.

Hudson’s race against Timmons-Goodson, who was the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, appears to have been closer than his race against McNeill in 2018 or Mills in 2016.

The eighth congressional race was one of the most expensive races in the state, with both Hudson and Timmons-Goodson reporting over $3 million in total receipts as of Oct. 14.

“I am proud of the effort we put together,” Timmons-Goodson said in a statement. “We ran a strong campaign and gave the voters the information they needed to make an informed choice and they have spoken. I wish Representative Hudson well in his next term.”

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