BY JIM MORRILL
National Democrats have added a North Carolina congressional district long held by Republicans to their list of 2020 targets.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday that it has added the 8th District to its “offensive battlefield” in an effort to expand its House majority.
“North Carolina’s redrawn congressional map puts the state’s 8th Congressional District squarely in play, forcing incumbent Republican Rep. Richard Hudson into the first competitive general election of his career,” the DCCC said in a memo.
Responding to a court order, lawmakers redrew North Carolina’s congressional districts last year. The redrawing makes two of the state’s 10 Republican-held seats, the 2nd and 6th Districts, likely Democratic pickups. But it also made the 8th more competitive.
The district runs from Cabarrus County east to Cumberland. Some analysts still call it “solid Republican” despite the changes. But those at the University of Virginia have suggested it could be more favorable to Democrats than it had been.
“While it runs through several conservative counties, it’s bookended by Cabarrus County in the west, a blue-trending suburban county in the Charlotte region, and Cumberland County in the east, a reliably blue county that includes Fayetteville,” they said.
In 2016 President Donald Trump easily carried the new district, but Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein lost it by less than 4 points.
Hudson’s Democratic opponent is Patricia Timmons-Goodson, who in 2006 became the first African American woman on the state Supreme Court. Her consultant, Thomas Mills, said the DCCC already has been helping the campaign. Decisions about financial help would come later, he said.