Two Republicans look to represent Union County in Washington, D.C.
by Mike Parks
Republicans Richard Hudson and Robert Pittenger have finally cleared their in-party challengers, setting up an election battle over the next few months that could send two new North Carolina representatives to Washington, D.C.
In District 8, Richard Hudson ran by Scott Keadle to take the party’s spot on November’s ballot. Hudson will face incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell for the district that covers portions of Union County, as well as Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Rowan, Anson and seven others.
Hudson took 10,635, or 63.65 percent, of the votes in this week’s runoff election, held Tuesday, July 17. The vote was made necessary after no one could reach 50 percent of the vote in the crowded May primary – Hudson received 32 percent of the vote then against four other candidates, including Keadle.
In this week’s primary, Hudson fared a little better here at home than in the other counties combined, taking 65.5 percent of Union County voters – though only 2,537 Union County voters cast ballots in the race.
Hudson now faces Rep. Kissell in November.
In the other U.S. House race in Union County, Robert Pittenger was able to get past Mecklenburg County commissioner Jim Pendergraph in their runoff election. Pittenger took nearly 53 percent of the vote in Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union counties to win by just more than 2,000 votes. Though Pendergraph came out on top in Mecklenburg, Pittenger was able to get his votes elsewhere, including taking nearly 57 percent of the votes in Union, where 5,062 votes in all were cast.
The two emerged as the top two candidates from a crowded Republican field in May. Now Pittenger moves on to face Democrat Jennifer Roberts, a Mecklenburg County commissioner, and Libertarian Curtis Campbell, for the District 9 seat. The seat for years belonged to Republican Rep. Sue Myrick, who recently decided she wouldn’t run again for Congress.
In other local election news…
• John Brooks beat out Marlowe Foster in the Democrat race for North Carolina Commission of Labor. Brooks will face Republican Cherie Berry.
• Dan Forest topped Tony Gurley for the Republican spot on the ballot for North Carolina Lieutenant Governor. Forest will face Democrat Linda Coleman.
• Mike Causey beat out Richard Morgan for the Republican representation in November of the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance race. Causey will face Democrat George Goodwin.
• Ed Goodwin was able to get by Kenn Gardner in the Republican race for North Carolina Secretary of State. Goodwin will face Democrat Elaine Marshall.
• John Tedesco slipped by Richard Alexander for the Republican bid for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction. Tedesco will face Democrat June Atkinson.