Under the Dome

Dome: Hudson rakes in GOP funds for District 8 race

STAFF WRITERNovember 15, 2011 

Richard Hudson, the veteran GOP staffer running for the 8th congressional district, is beginning to look like the anointed Republican candidate.

Hudson reports that he has gotten off to a quick start since announcing his candidacy a month ago, raising more than $100,000. But even more interesting is who is contributing to his campaign.

Hudson's contributions include $5,000 from Barbara Hayes, the wife of his former boss, Congressman Robin Hayes, who is now state party chairman, and $2,500 from Robin Hayes's son, Robert Hayes Jr.

"Richard Hudson is a person I like, admire and respect," said Barbara Hayes in a statement. "I have known him for many years as one of my husband's closest friends and former right-hand man. Richard is a strong Christian man with high morals, he has the same servant heart as my husband and he will make a terrific congressman."

Hudson has also received endorsements from other prominent Republican contributors including Harold Johnson, the GOP's 2010 nominee; Republican National Committeeman Ed McMahan, and former 8th district GOP chairman Donnie Baucom.

He also received $5,000 from ERICPAC, the political action committee of House Majority leader Eric Cantor, who endorsed Hudson at a recent campaign event.

Hudson is a veteran political and congressional staffer. A large number of Republicans are running for the seat now held by Democratic incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell. The 8th district leans more Republican now under the redistricting plan passed by the legislature.

Among the Republicans who also have said they will run in the 8th are Scott Keadle, an Iredell County commissioner, Dan Barry, mayor pro tem of Weddington, and Vernon Robinson, former Winston-Salem city councilman.

Pension fund loses money

The state pension fund's investment returns fell 6.31 percent in the third quarter as its stock portfolio took a hit, the state treasurer's office reported Monday.

The investment decline lowered the pension-fund assets to $69.6 billion as of Sept. 30. The pension fund provides retirement benefits for more than 850,000 teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and others.

The returns were hurt by the fund's investment in stocks, which declined 17.87 percent in the quarter. Stocks account for 41 percent of the pension fund's investment portfolio.

"The instability in Europe, combined with the ongoing economic weakness in several economies, caused global equity markets to decline sharply," state Treasurer Janet Cowell said in a prepared statement.

The pension fund's investment in bonds, which account for roughly 40 percent of the portfolio, rose 5.56 percent.

Real-estate investments, which make up about 7 percent of the portfolio, rose 2.08 percent. Alternative investments, such as venture capital and private equity funds, account for 5 percent of total investments; they rose 1.29 percent.

Border-fence pledge

An effort by a North Carolina-based committee to get candidates to pledge to build a double fence along the U.S.-Mexico border has picked up a few endorsements.

The biggest name is GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachman, who signed a pledge to support construction of a double fence along the border by the end of 2013.

Americans for Securing the Border, which is based in Raleigh, has also received pledges from N.C. GOP congressional candidates Ilario Pantano and David Rouzer, who are seeking the nomination for the 7th district seat, and Richard Hudson, running for the nomination for the 8th district seat. The group is co chaired by Van Hipp, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, and by Nathan Tabor, a conservative activist from Kernersville.

Top GOP names back McCrory

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will be the second big-name Republican governor to campaign for Pat McCrory.

Jindal will be the star attraction at a Charlotte fundraiser on Dec. 7 for McCrory, a likely GOP candidate for governor next year. The event will be held at the home of Barbara and Joe Hallow with tickets costing between $1,000 and $4,000 per person.

On Nov. 28th, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear at a Greensboro fundraiser for McCrory. The governors' presence is an indication that the national party is getting behind McCrory, who has consistently led Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue in recent polls.

Christensen: 919-829-4532

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