19 September 2012
Ben Hudson stopped at the historic courthouse in Palmyra Thursday (Sept. 13) to introduce himself as a candidate for the 5th District Congressional seat. Hudson, a retired Army officer, is criss-crossing South Central Virginia doing a series of town hall meetings.
His is an uphill climb.
First, no one showed up at the courthouse except Hudson and two reporters.
He said crowds have been sparse elsewhere with the largest being in Greene County where 40 people came out to meet the write-in candidate.
Hudson officially threw his hat into the ring Aug. 15, which is traditionally late for a November election. He is running against Republican incumbent Robert Hurt and Democratic contender John Douglass.
He needed 1,000 signatures to get his name on the ballot. Hudson missed the count by 100, according to his website. But he was encouraged to run by family and friends and does not want to disappoint them.
There is another reason he is 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 said it is important for a congressional representative to have the energy, charisma and persistence to persuade others there might be a better path.
Leaders must also have a “heavy dose of humility, too.”
Hudson said that four years ago when it looked as if the economy was on the skids, he wondered why the government didn’t buy up the bad mortgage debt to stimulate the economy.
“And that’s what happened today. Americans outside of Washington have a brain. Let them use it.”
To find out more about Ben Hudson, his views and where he will have his next town hall meeting, go to www.benhudson2012.com.
Clarification: A Sept. 20 story about 5th District Congressional write-in candidate Ben Hudson, an Independent from Fluvanna, should have included the candidacy of Kenneth J. Hildebrandt. Hildebrandt of Halifax County is running as an Independent from the Green party. The two men are running against Republican incumbent Robert Hurt and Democratic contender John Douglass.