(The Center Square) – Republican incumbent Richard Hudson is being challenged by former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a Democrat, in the election for North Carolina's 8th Congressional District.
Hudson was elected in 2012 to represent the district, which includes Cabarrus, Cumberland, Stanly, Moore, Montgomery, Hoke and Rowan counties.
Before serving in Congress, Hudson worked in Washington as chief of staff for U.S. Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas; John Carter, R-Texas; and Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina. He also has worked as the communications director of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Timmons-Goodson became the first Black woman on the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2006 and served as an associate justice through 2012. Former President Barrack Obama selected her for federal court in 2016, but Republicans blocked the nomination. She currently is the vice chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
If elected, Timmons-Goodson said she plans to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and push for Medicaid expansion to support better health care outcomes for the mostly rural district.
As a House Committee on Energy and Commerce member, Hudson has tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He supports federal spending cuts, lower-cost energy resources and job creation.
Hudson voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. His office calls the measure "the most sweeping, pro-growth tax reform in more than 30 years."
"The jobs created speak for themselves: Tax cuts are working," Hudson said in a January 2019 statement. Throughout his tenure in Congress, he has voted against deficit spending.
As the vice chairwoman of the Commission on Civil Rights, Timmons-Goodson offered recommendations to the federal government to improve the environment, according to her campaign website.
"Families in our community lack access to clean water, because polluters waited too long to clean up their unlined coal ash pits," Timmons-Goodson's campaign website reads. "We know the importance of solving these problems, and we know that clean energy jobs are vital to our economy. North Carolina is the Southeast's leader in clean energy jobs, with 86,000 employed by the clean energy sector."
Hudson has fought for less regulation of North Carolina's offshore energy resources to create jobs in the state, and he has proposed legislation for training and education for energy jobs.
Hudson has been an avid supporter of gun rights. He proposed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would require all U.S. states to recognize concealed carry permits granted by other states.
"Richard knows that our God-given rights ensure that Americans can own firearms for hunting, shooting sports, self-defense, or any other lawful purpose," Hudson's campaign website reads.
The candidates can find common ground on economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hudson has continuously pushed for stimulus payments for Americans, a cause that Timmons-Goodson supports, but she wants more housing and food support.
"North Carolinians must be supported during and not burdened by the failings of the federal government to adequately protect our country from the consequences of the pandemic," she says on her campaign website.