Comparison of 8th District GOP field

Rebublicans are lining up to challenge Congressman Larry Kissell in the newly redrawn 8th Congressional District.  Despite his conservative leanings, the gerrymandered districts drawn by the Republican legislature will make it more difficult for Kissell to win reelection. 

The following is a cursory glance at the candidates who have declared their intentions  to run in North Carolina's 8th District.  Stu Rothenberg has said it would take a miracle for Kissell to win.  So folks....which one do you want in Washington in his place?

Richard Hudson

Hudson was the 8th District Director for former Congressman Robin Hayes.  There is no doubt that he knows the old district, but  knowing the district didn't stop Hudson's boss from lying repeatedly to his constituents about his intention to vote against free trade agreements that hurt the textile industry in the 8th District.  The 8th lost well over 10k jobs in textiles alone under Hayes' watch and if Hudson is going to claim that experience on his resume, then it is fair to say the jobs were lost on his watch as well.  This is what his website says about trade.

He knows a substantial portion of our manufacturing jobs have been lost due to trade deals which were unfair to North Carolina workers. As our Congressman, Richard will judge every trade proposal that comes before Congress by one simple standard: does it create or destroy jobs in the 8th District? When ANY trade deal is a bad deal for our workers, Richard will fight against it.

Seems we've heard that before and it was from Hudson's old boss.  Hayes didn't keep his promise and there is no reason to believe that Hudson will either.

Hudson has filed the appropriate papers to run and has a web site up.  Hopefully he will get a professional to tend to the site once fundraising dollars have started coming in as the colors are seizure-inducing.  You can find Hudson's issues here.  Many of them would fit in well in middle eastern countries.  He doesn't give his position on allowing women to drive, vote or wear pants, but from reading his stance on other issues I'm fairly certain he has us one step shy of donning a burqa.  It  will be interesting to see his fundraising numbers after the next filing deadline.

Dan Barry 

Barry was elected to the Weddington Town Council two years ago and serves as Mayor Pro Tem.  He works for Principal Financial Group.  For those unfamiliar with Union County, Weddington is one of the more upscale areas that serve as bedroom communities for Charlotte.  I doubt very seriously Barry has a good feel for the mostly rural 8th District, but will follow the campaign to see.

The appropriate papers are filed with the Federal Elections Commission.  He shows no fundraising totals as of the October filing deadline.  His web site is live, however is unimpressive. 

Scott Keadle

Keadle is a former one-term Iredell County Commissioner who has run for Congress before in the 10th District where he was a primary challenger for Patrick McHenry.  Keadle is a Mooresville dentist, so does not live in the district in which he is running.

Keadle has filed with the FEC and shows a $70k personal loan as well as $45k in contributions.  Most of his contributions appear to come from North Carolina donors.

His web site was an in-kind donation.  The colors are not terrible, but the landing page requires scrolling and there is no indication that anything is below the initial picture.  Some folks will miss his social media buttons.  The tabs for navigating the site are small radio buttons up top.  If he wins the nomination he will need some changes to make sure visitors find exactly what they need quickly as my experience is visitors to political sites don't want to fiddle around finding what they are looking for.

John Whitley

John Whitley is a neurosurgeon.  He is running on the very tired issue, repealing healthcare legislation or "Obamacare."  He lost all credibility with me when he called Larry Kissell a liberal.  Kissell isn't a liberal.  Calling him one will not make it so.

He has filed with the FEC, has not started raising money.  His campaign web site isn't bad looking for a cookie cutter template, but it is the best looking site of the group thus far except it has this odd fuzzy bison labled Obamacare. Maybe he's trying to say it will be extinct.  Who knows.

Like I said, no credibility as a candidate and he is running on a tired issue that has nothing to do with creating jobs.

Vernon Robinson

Oh my!  Vernon Robinson again.  This should be entertaining to say the least.  Those who were reading BlueNC back in 2006 should know the drama, drama, drama that Vernon Robinson creates along the campaign trail.

In the past, Robinson has raised money outside North Carolina.  Maybe it is a way to hide the letters he sends.  This cycle we again find most of his funds have come from donors outside North Carolina.

He has filed with the FEC and has raised almost $200k so far with at least half of that coming in very small donations that do not have to be itemized, so little is known about these donors.

In 2006, Robinson ran against Congressman Brad Miller.  One ad was so bad Robinson had to pull it from the air.  Fox News criticized Robinson and crushed him.

His web site is here.  He bills himself as the Reagan-Helms choice.

Cross-posted from Democratic Muse.



Kissells defeat will

Kissells defeat will certainly not be a great loss for Democrats. To say he has conservative leanings is an understatement. He is a more reliable vote for Boehner than his own caucus. Why not just have a Republican holding the 8th...we have one now...and it will at least be an honest hold. I contributed to Kissell his first run....I want my money back.

I think if you actually look

at the Republicans running you would realize how wrong you are. Larry votes with Dems almost 80% of the time and none of those Republicans running are anywhere close to the center. Larry represents a very conservative district. He was elected by the people in his district and even when we can't stand the way he votes, he is doing what he was elected to do. Don't give him money or make phone calls if you don't like the way he votes, but don't fool yourself into thinking we would be better off with any of those far right ideologues.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You're probably right about that

But when I see him sign on to something like that cement bill, it makes me see red. In more ways than one...

It might help to see some of his progressive votes/sponsorships listed, so the scales won't seem so one-sided.

I am very unhappy

with some of his choices/votes. I also believe that the "right" vote isn't always one that will make his constituents happy. I know he has taken that path a few times, and I can't help but wonder if his voting record would improve a bit if Dems were in the majority.

We need tp shift the conversation to the left in the 8th District. Sometimes a primary election is the best way to do that, but Kissell's primary challengers in the past have resorted to nasty campaigning instead of promoting a positive progressive message. That won't get the job done.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

vote Democrat doesn't always save much...

voting Democrat in the case of Kissell does not save ass but makes one an ass. To many times we have blindly voted Democrat only to make fools of ourselves and Democratic principals...Nelson of Nebraska, Heath Schuler, Dan Boren of Okl, Joe the fool Lieberman, Landreau of Louisiana...the list is long. Vote for a real Democrat saves your ass.

you lost me at the name calling

Voting for Kissell doesn't make the voter an ass. He may be the most progressive choice on the ballot. We've already witnessed the results of sitting at home and will be living with 10 years of Republican redistricting because of it.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The 8th District of North Carolina

is NOT the 8th District of California. To think that a Democrat representing NC-8 could cast floor votes as if they represented CA-8 and still retain the seat is naive in the extreme. Kissell has cast votes that I'm not happy with, but to say that replacing him with a Republican who would vote for repealing Medicare and gutting Social Security (not to mention voting to re-elect Boehner as Speaker) has no consequences is stunningly obtuse at best and potentially damned destructive at worst.

Living in the 9th CD I am represented by Sue Myrick who is not only an unspooled right winger but is nutty as a fruitcake. The 9th is gerrymandered to be so heavily Republican that I have little hope of Democratic representation during the next decade. I assure you I would be thrilled to be represented by a Democrat with whom I had some serious disagreements. And I would do all I could to keep him.

I happen to think Nancy Pelosi was a very effective Speaker. I believe that regaining the two dozen seats needed to put the gavel back into the hand of Big Tommy's little girl is well within the realm of the possible. I'd damn sure prefer to see a House with 218 Democrats that included Kissell and elected Pelosi Speaker than to see Kissell lose and see a House with 218 Republicans re-elect Boehner as Speaker. I believe a lot of Americans who are struggling in this economy would agree with me and have a hard time understanding a couple of the above comments. It makes a great deal of difference if we elect a few more Democrats. Even ones you don't particularly care for.

No political fight is ever truly finished. Sometimes you have to be prepared (and smart enough) to take what you can get today and fight for more tomorrow. Not go whining off because you can't get 100% of what you want today. And you better be prepared to fight like hell to keep what you thought you (or others who came before you)had won. Because, if you hadn't noticed, there are those who are hell bent for leather to take it away.

The current House of Representatives voted to end Medicare and give old folks a damned voucher to go out and buy private insurance. No mention of controlling spiraling costs or that old folks all have a pre-existing condition -- THEY'RE OLD! Nope, just "Here's your voucher. Good luck!".

Tell me again how replacing Kissell with a far right Republican has no down side.

These same Republicans want to end Social Security. A program with wide public support that has served us well for nearly eighty years. Of course, they will characterize it differently, but their intent is clear. Eighty years out and we still need to be vigilant. There is a lot at stake.

Tell me again how there is no consequence to torpedoing Democrats in conservative districts because you don't like that they don't vote like they represent bright blue liberal districts.

I think of the tough old liberals I had the pleasure of seeing in action when I was a kid and I think they must be spinning in their graves at some of these young "progressives" who whine so much when they can't instantly get all they want and have no concept of a fight going the full fifteen rounds. Do you think you win one election and the world bows at your feet and accepts your entire agenda?

Look at the progress that has been made! The health care bill (imperfect though it may be) is a huge step forward. And that fight isn't over either. Both to retain gains made and to move it farther forward. Our gay brothers and sisters no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve in the armed forces. And that fight isn't over either. The gain must be defended against those who would roll it back and we need to fight for gay spouses to have the same benefits as other military dependents.

The list of progress made is long. But picking up your ball and going home and ceding the field to the Republicans in places like NC-8 is a recipe for disaster. Or more properly, surrender.

I guarangoddamntee you the Republicans will cede nothing.

08 vs 10

The 2008 vs 2010 General Assembly is the best possible illustration at the surprisingly large gap between conservative dems versus republicans in power.

Party of Five

I get what you're saying, Jake. But I think it would be a huge mistake to give ConservaDems too much credit. Or let them slide without vigorous opposition.

Republicans in the GA could not have achieved many of their regresssive goals, including the upcoming DOMA referendum, without the complicity of ConservaDems.

If we want to grow the ranks of the Democratic Party and get more compassionate and sensible folks to turn out at election time, the character of the Party itself needs to be refined. I was going to say "redefined", but our Platform is just fine as it is. It's the following of it that needs work.

I agree

If we always support the lesser of two evils, then in the long run we're complicit in supporting a party that will never be forced to rise to the stature that we ought to demand of our elected public servants.

At the same time, if we have enough conservaDems in the General Assembly then finding enough to keep a veto from being overridden is a little easier, and if we have a lot of Dems of all stripes then we get to have someone like a Hackney as a leader in the General Assembly. And, given how hard that the new redistricting maps are going to make it to have any Dems in the General Assembly, conservative or otherwise, it's difficult.

Half the time I think 90% of the dems ought to be primaried with more liberal candidates, and half the time I think we need to hunker down and aim for something practical by supporting the Dems that we have not the Dems that we want, and I think that bit of cognitive dissonance isn't likely to clear up any time soon.

Not sure if you are responding to me or another commenter

...but I was offering the list as "replacements" in jest. :)

As much as I dislike a growing number of Kissell's votes, I also live in the 9th and have zero representation. I would rather have Kissell as my rep than Myrick any day.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.