Hudson to lead House GOP campaign arm for 2024 cycle

Former campaign manager and chief of staff just won sixth term

North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson was backed by colleagues on Tuesday to be the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson was backed by colleagues on Tuesday to be the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted November 15, 2022 at 5:17pm

North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson, a former chief of staff to two of his colleagues who also led the House GOP’s incumbent protection program in this cycle, will chair the National Republican Congressional Committee ahead of the 2024 election. 

Hudson, who won a sixth term last week against an opponent who raised no money, donated nearly $550,000 of the $3.4 million he raised this cycle to the NRCC and fellow Republicans’ campaigns. 

He has served as an NRCC vice chair for four terms, including most recently leading the Patriot program that helps vulnerable incumbents. He’s also served as the finance chair, deputy chair and led the recruitment program. He was part of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s leadership team as conference secretary during the 117th Congress.

Hudson was uncontested when the House GOP conference voted Tuesday to give him the job of following up on a somewhat disappointing midterm election. While they appear poised to take control of the House, they are likely to have only a slim majority, rather than a “red wave” many had anticipated. That means that while Republicans will be defending their majority, they will be trying to pick up seats as the party seeks to oust President Joe Biden from the White House. 

“The American people have just entrusted House Republicans with a majority to be the last line of defense in stopping the disastrous Biden administration and saving our country from out-of-control spending, inflation, energy prices, crime, and an open southern border,” Hudson said in a statement. “Working together with our leadership team and entire conference, I am confident we can build on our successes and learn from missed opportunities to expand our majority in 2024.”

Hudson named Guy Harrison, the former NRCC executive director, to lead the transition.

While Hudson has emphasized pragmatism over confrontational stances, he has a solid conservative voting record. In 2021, he voted with his party 97 percent of the time according to CQ Roll Call vote studies. Unlike the outgoing chairman, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Hudson voted against certifying electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by former President Donald Trump’s supporters. 

Last year, he criticized Democrats on the the Energy and Commerce Committee, saying during a marathon budget reconciliation markup that the Democratic majority “has completely broken this committee.”

He is a former chief of staff for fellow North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx and Texas Rep. John Carter, and he also managed Pat McCrory’s 2008 gubernatorial campaign in North Carolina before running for office himself. 

Hudson has focused on veterans issues including working to expand their access to health care during his time in Congress. He has sponsored legislation to allow gun owners with concealed carry permits in one state to carry their guns into other states with more strict gun laws. He has also worked on foreign policy issues and played a role in the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson from a Turkish detention center in 2018.

Hudson’s chief campaign account and First in Freedom PAC, his leadership fund, raised a combined $3.4 million, including $1.6 million from PACs, during this election cycle, according to PoliticalMoneyline.com.

A member of the Energy and Commerce Committee that regulates health care, Hudson’s accounts got more from the pharmaceutical and health products industry — nearly $201,000 — than any other sector, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Though his Democratic opponent did not report any fundraising, Hudson spent $1.6 million from his campaign account this cycle, with his top expense being $345,000 for fundraising consulting. He also donated $223,000 to the NRCC, and $64,000 to 36 GOP colleagues and candidates. His leadership PAC gave another $259,000 to 99 candidates and colleagues. 

Hudson won his election last week by 13 points, but his district next cycle could look different. North Carolina is set to redraw its lines once again ahead of the 2024 election. 

The state has redrawn its congressional maps several times in recent years, and Hudson has won some races more easily than others. His most narrow margin was in 2020, when he won by 6.6 percentage points, while he won by nearly 30 points in 2014. 

Benjamin J. Hulac contributed to this report.