Antonio Blue, a write-in Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District, will make an official announcement of his candidacy next week at a Meet and Greet in Rockingham.
The drop-in reception will be held at Hinson Lake, located at 152 Hinson Lake Road (off of East Washington Street), from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Blue is running against incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell and Republican Richard Hudson.
Blue has received his official certification from the State Board of Elections to run as a write-in candidate and will kick off his campaign at this event.
“I want to make a difference for the people of the 8th Congressional District,” Blue said in a statement. “We cannot continue to have the highest unemployment rates in the state. We cannot continue to have our district among the lowest-wealth districts in the state. Do you believe that the best way to solve our problems is to continue electing the same person?”
The mayor of Dobbins Heights in Richmond County, Blue is a retired veteran who served 24 years in the U.S. Army. He is also former Richmond County Democratic Party chair; serves on the Richmond County Arts Council Board of Directors; and is the president of the N.C. Black Elected Municipal Officials.
Blue said he decided to challenge Kissell after the congressman announced that he would not endorse President Obama in his campaign for re-election; voted to repel the Affordable Health Care Act; and voted against the Democratic cap-and-trade bill.
Tuesday's event is being sponsored by Antonio Blue for U.S. Congress – Committee to Elect.