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Robert Hurt gets Democratic challenger in Fifth Congressional District

BenHudson [1]Bearing Drift has learned that Ben Hudson, a U.S. Army veteran who ran as a write-in candidate for Congress in 2012, will soon inform the Fifth District Democratic Committee of his intention to seek that party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Robert Hurt (R-Chatham) in 2014.

Hudson has posted a skeleton campaign web site [2] that includes a brief biography [3] of himself but little other information about his positions on public policy issues.

In 2012, Hudson tried but failed to collect a sufficient number of signatures to run as an independent candidate in the Fifth District. He may have received some of the 388 write-in votes cast in that contest, but those specific results are scattered and difficult to find.

The Fluvanna Review interviewed him in August 2012 [4]. He explained his reasons for running:

“I have a spirit that gives me the feeling I could make a difference if I could get into Washington,” Hudson said.

Running as an independent, Hudson said he focuses on issues and answers rather than political party.

“I’ll work on an issue that leads me to the right answer that respects American values as laid out in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” he said. “If Republicans agree, that’s fine. If Democrats agree, that’s fine.”

Refusing to label himself a strict Constitutionalist, Hudson said he holds dear the language of the document, marveling at the wonderful job the crafters did during such trying times.

“All men are created equal. Why did they say that when back then they clearly weren’t? Maybe they were looking ahead to a time when we would be,” Hudson said. “I think the closer we get to those ideals, the better we are.”
Hudson acknowledged he is running an uphill battle, but that is not a reason to quit.

“If people think, ‘Why bother? Why make the effort?’ If that becomes the American mantra – how we drive our national politics, woe be unto us. We are not that kind of people,” Hudson said. “If we left it to that, we’d have people on the fringes with only nefarious intent in office because people with good intentions elected not to bother. I have an obligation to the country to try.”

Hudson plans to contact members of the Fifth District Democratic Committee next Monday (February 24) before making a formal announcement of his candidacy to constituents.

Robert Hurt was first elected to represent the sprawling Fifth Congressional District in 2010, defeating then-incumbent Tom Perriello (D-Ivy), who served one term in Congress. This week the Obama administration announced that Perriello is taking a post [5] in the State Department. Hurt appears to have no challengers for the GOP nomination this year.

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