Rating: Lean Republican
Voter Registration by Race: 65% White, 26% Black, 5% Hispanic, 3% Other
Voter Registration by Party: 35% Democratic, 34% Republican, 30% Unaffiliated
2016 Presidential Election Result: 56% Trump, 41% Clinton, 3% Other
CD-08 is a long, narrow Piedmont-area district stretching from Fayetteville (Cumberland County) in the east to Charlotte’s exurbs in the west. The district was drawn primarily to favor Republicans – it splits the predominantly African-American, solidly Democratic areas of southeastern North Carolina with the neighboring CD-09, merging its Democratic counties (Cumberland and Hoke, both of which contain Fort Bragg) with solidly Republican counties outside of Charlotte to ensure a GOP advantage. The Republican counties in CD-08 include the affluent Moore (Southern Pines, Pinehurst), the ancestrally Democratic Montgomery, the rural Stanly (Albemarle), the exurban Cabarrus (Concord, Kannapolis, Harrisburg), and rural portions of Rowan. This combination of GOP stronghold counties gives CD-08 a decided Republican lean, although the inclusion of Fayetteville places it among the more competitive of the ten North Carolina district drawn to favor Republicans – CD-08 has supported Democratic candidates in statewide elections as recently as 2012, and Democrats still have a slim voter registration advantage over Republicans.
|2018 Candidates||Total Raised (2017-2018)||Total Spent (2017-2018)||Cash on Hand (June 2018)||
Debts Owed (June 2018)
Richard Hudson, a resident of Concord and longtime congressional staffer, was first elected to represent CD-08 in 2012, ousting incumbent Democrat Larry Kissell after his district was redrawn to favor the GOP (the district was redrawn again in 2016 but maintains its Republican lean). Kissell himself had won the seat in 2008 by defeating GOP Congressman Robin Hayes, Hudson’s former boss. Hudson defeated Kissell with 54% of the district’s vote in 2012, won reelection with 65% in 2014, and scored a third term with 59% in 2016 against the founder of Politics NC, Thomas Mills.
This year, Hudson is vying for a fourth term against Democrat Frank McNeill, an oil company owner and lifelong resident of Moore County who previously served on the county’s school board and as the mayor of the town of Aberdeen. McNeill has campaigned as a moderate, family oriented small business owner, a strategy that has so far resonated well with the district’s voters – he won the Democratic primary with 56% of the vote against two opponents, each of whom only won their home counties of Rowan and Cabarrus. McNeill has taken advantage of his longtime connections in the district to build a strong grassroots campaign organization, although he lags behind Hudson in fundraising – the Congressman currently has over a million in cash on hand, more than ten times that of his challenger. McNeill fits CD-08 well, and his lifelong connections to the area contrast sharply with accusations of Hudson as a carpetbagger from Capitol Hill. In a district drawn to favor the GOP, however, Hudson still has a moderate advantage in his bid for a fourth term.