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North Carolina: Huddleston Huddles With GOP Delegation

After visiting Capitol Hill last week and meeting with GOP members of the Tar Heel State delegation, retired Army colonel Lou Huddleston (R) said Wednesday that he plans to make a final decision about the 8th district race by Labor Day.

Huddleston, who worked for four years at the Fayetteville-based RLM Communications before leaving to become an independent defense industry consultant, is coming off a failed state House bid in 2008. In that race, he took 38 percent of the vote against Democrat Margaret Dickson.

But Huddleston sees an opportunity in 2010 against freshman Rep. Larry Kissell (D).

Kissell rode last year’s Democratic wave and ousted then-Rep. Robin Hayes (R) after losing narrowly to him in 2006. National Republicans see the 8th district as a prime take-back opportunity in the midterm elections.

Huddleston, who is black, served tours overseas, at the Pentagon and at Fort Bragg (which is split between the 2nd, 7th and 8th districts) during his time in the Army. The population of the Charlotte-based 8th district is 27 percent black, in addition to having a significant military population.

But Huddleston will likely be the underdog in a crowded GOP primary.

Hayes still hasn’t made a final decision on whether he’ll try to reclaim his old seat, and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R), who ran for governor last year and lost, has also expressed interest in the race.

McCrory is the longest-serving mayor in Charlotte history, and he remains popular.

Union County District Attorney John Snyder (R) has said he’d consider running if Hayes doesn’t, and former state Rep. Mia White (R) is doing the same. Tennessee Valley Authority official Linwood Faulk (R), who has lost two bids for the Legislature, has said he’s running.