Two men seeking the Republican nomination to the District 8 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives spoke to Scotland County Republicans this week.
Richard Hudson and Scott Keadle are the candidates still standing after the May primary. Hudson carried the Scotland County vote with 449 ballots. Keadle came in third with 215 votes to Vernon Robinson’s 230.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Scotland County GOP, the candidates spoke for government deregulation of businesses.
“I want to go to Washington to represent that small-business owner in the district who’s having to deal with regulations, who’s having to use their ingenuity and their know-how to get around the federal government and make money instead of using that ingenuity and that know-how to expand their business and hire more people,” said Hudson.
“You don’t need to explain to Scott Keadle that you can’t just regulate people and regulate people and regulate people and expect their businesses not to dry up and go away, or go somewhere else,” Keadle said.
Should he lose the runoff, Hudson said that he intends to stand behind Keadle, as his primary goal is to supplant the current leadership.
“If I lose the runoff, I pledge that I will endorse Scott Keadle for Congress, because this election is not about me; it’s not about any one person,” Hudson said. “This election is about stopping Larry Kissell and stopping Barack Obama’s liberal agenda. That’s why I got into this race in the first place, and that’s got to be our main goal.”
Hudson, who lives in Concord, said that he never intended to become a politician, but gained firsthand experience with the legislature while working as Robin Hayes’ chief of staff.
“I’ve been part of the conservative movement my whole life and never planned to run for office,” said Hudson. “As a professional with a lot of training behind me, I always enjoyed working for the cause and for people I believed in. I’ve always tried to work for people that I felt could make a difference.”
Among the other issues Hudson addressed were education and the operation of federal departments.
“We need a sunset provision in federal government,” said Hudson. “Let’s review them and have every department come in and justify their existence. Let’s let Congress actually do some oversight for a change, and let’s start out with the assumption that every department goes away unless you prove you need it.”
Keadle, a self-employed dentist from Salisbury, indicted ineffective politicians and pseudo-conservatives who are primarily concerned with keeping their congressional seats.
“We can’t keep letting the same old people who live and breathe Washington, D.C. tell the rest of us how to live our lives, how to raise our kids, how to run our businesses,” said Keadle. “There are 435 members of the House, and if a majority of those members decide what they’re going to spend, then the President or anybody else doesn’t really have a choice. But you’ve got to have a majority of conservative people who are willing to go up there and risk losing the next election to go up there and say what is the truth.”
Keadle also promised, if elected, to remain connected to his own experience as a businessman.
“I think it’s going to take somebody who knows what it’s like to be a small businessman, to be in a community, who has suffered what the rest of us have suffered, who has seen the job losses, signed both sides of a paycheck, and why has seen what the economy has done to all of us in the 8th District,” he said. “Everybody here has been affected by this economy.”
Keadle also spoke in favor of regulating spending in order to strengthen the U.S., world, and North Carolina economies.
“You don’t need to call me up and explain to me that we can’t spend $1.42 for every dollar we take in,” he said. “Greece has had this crisis and now Spain has had this crisis and we think maybe the Eurozone could break up, and all that world economy is being affected, frankly, by the United States government. The United States economy is affecting the 8th District economy and the economy of Scotland County.”
Hudson and Keadle will compete in a runoff election on July 17. The winner will then run against incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell in the November general election.