Check out the website: https://lenspoliticalnotes.com Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.
NORTHEAST: Political Note #363 Inc Tom Malinowski NJ 07, Political Note #394 Inc Susan Wild PA 07, Political Note #397 Eugene DePasquale PA 10
SOUTHEAST: Political Note #385 Inc Carolyn Bordeaux GA 07, Political Note #410 Charles Evans NC 08, Political Note #388 Inc Elaine Luria VA 02
MIDWEST: Political Note # 398 David Palmer IL 13, Political Note #376 Inc Lauren Underwood IL 14, Political Note #378 Inc Elissa Slotkin MI 08, Political Note #357 Inc Haley Stevens MI 11, Political Note #355 Inc Angie Craig MN 02
SOUTHWEST: Political Note #389 Inc Tom O’Halleran AZ 01, Political Note #356 Inc Susie Lee NV 03, Political Note #375 Inc Steven Horsford NV 04, Political Note #377 Inc Lizzie Fletcher TX 07, Political Note #362 Inc Vicente Gonzalez TX 15, Political Note #399 Inc Colin Allred TX 32
WEST: Political Note #405 Jay Chen CA 39, Political Note #383 Harley Rouda CA 48, Political Note #404 Kerry Donovan CO 03, Political Note #384 Inc Peter DeFazio OR 04.
SPECIAL ELECTIONS: Political Note #393 Allison Russo OH 15 (Election is in November, 2021), Political Note #364 Jana Lynne Sanchez TX 06 (lost), Political Note #382 Melanie Stansbury NM 01 (won)
September 10, 2021 Political Note #410 Charles Evans NC 08
2022 General Election
In 2014, Republican Richard Hudson won his first race as the incumbent Member of Congress from NC 08 65-35.
In 2016, Republican Richard Hudson won his second race as the incumbent Member of Congress from NC 08. 59-41
In 2018 Republican Richard Hudson won his third race as the incumbent Member of Congress from NC 08 55-45
In 2020 Republican Richard Hudson won his fourth race as the incumbent Member of Congress from NC 08 53-47
If Republican Richard Hudson is going to win his fifth race as the incumbent Member of Congress from NC 08, the Republican legislature is going to have to be effective at gerrymandering. They will have to thread the needle of expanding the Republican vote for this 65% white, 25% Black, and 10% Hispanic south-central North Carolina district while avoiding the possibility that the North Carolina Supreme Court will find the gerrymandering was unconstitutional.
In college, at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Richard Hudson was president of the student body and president of the College Republicans. The rest of his life has been devoted to Republican politics. He organized a consulting and marketing company for the year before he ran for Congress for the first time. A careful examination of that business would almost certainly find that its existence was connected to Richard Hudson’s political career.
In 2022, Richard Hudson will be running against someone who has led a complicated life — Charles Evans https://www.charlesevansforcongress2022.com/. In 2020, as Chair of the County Commission, he and colleagues from his non-profit responded to the State Supreme Court’s ruling that felons on probation, parole, or post-release supervision could register to vote and vote. They distributed flyers in Charles Evans’ home town of Fayetteville to explain the decision and to explain how people could register to vote. Charles Evans spoke to the press: “If we are not registered to vote, we can’t say who goes into the White House, the statehouse or city, or the county commission that’s going to change our lives,” He added “I’m a convicted felon, I saw how difficult it was for me to get into school, how it was to get housing, how hard it was for me to get jobs and just to be accepted as a regular individual.”
The reporter noted that Charles Evans’s felonies were related to an addiction. He had graduated from high school in 1977 and joined the army. After his three-year stint, he returned home and, in the 1980s, was a ticket agent at the Fayetteville Regional Airport. While working he developed a drinking problem and a drugs problem. To feed his habits, he stole money from the airline he worked for. In 1992, he was arrested, tried, and convicted for felony embezzlement and one count of cocaine possession.
How did he recover? Fear. He says fear did it; fear of being locked away. HIs father’s death in 1994 forced him to reflect about his life. He wanted his mother to see him as a better person. He didn’t say it in the newspaper interview, but in a more informal setting, he might add that fear of God did it.
Charles Evans found God, a plan to help others like him, and he found politics. He founded Fayetteville’s Life is Worth Living – Project Fresh Start. In 1991, almost anticipating his own bad moments to come, he thought about creating an organization to provide help to those who needed and wanted it. He began working on himself in the 1990s so that he would never have reason to go back to prison. By the 2000s, he was helping others. In 2008, he incorporated Life is Worth Living. The organization describes itself on its website as having begun “as a solution to a problem faced by many involved with the criminal justice system…people with charges on their record [who] are saddled with poverty, under-education, and prejudice … even when their debt to society has been paid. A program … created to aid fellow citizens of Fayetteville who need help overcoming such obstacles and obtaining a better way of life.”
Since 2008 as a formal organization and before that, more informally, Life is Worth Living has been reaching out to the homeless, working to inspire and encourage people with criminal histories toward education and toward bettering themselves. The organization built relationships with crucial members of the community so that those they were supporting could find a home – literally and figuratively. Charles Evans says of the people the organization targets — “Some individuals who have felonies are not bad people. They’ve made mistakes.” The organization works with the Cumberland County DA’s office toward expunging criminal records. They have built partnerships with the NC Works Career Center, the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cumberland County Communicare, which provides family services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, the Fayetteville Technical Community College, and numerous local employers. Charles Evans has been the Executive Director from the beginning. This has been his life’s work.
Having found God and having founded Life is Worth Living, Charles Evans also found politics. He served two terms on the Fayetteville City Council — from 2004 to 2009. He formalized the organization of Life is Worth Living while he was on the city council. He ran for and was elected in 2010 to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. He was elected again in 2014. After a surprising election loss, in 2018, he ran for at-large for the Board of Commissioners and won. The county that elected him has a population of 335,000 people which was slightly more than 50% white and slightly more than 35% Black.
Charles Evans has not been a go-along to get-along politician. In 2003, he ran against an incumbent for the city council seat. He won that seat two years later. In 2008, he blamed the school superintendent, Bill Harrison, for ignoring a cockroach infestation at the Berrien Elementary school, the school that served Fayetteville’s inner city. In 2011, he accused Commissioner Kenneth Edge of shoving him after a testy three-hour meeting. He found an ally in Commissioner Billy King, a fellow Democrat. Billy King was a county commissioner from 1990 to 2014. He said Evans brings a different perspective: “He champions the crowd that has been left out. When you are an advocate, you can’t always save everybody, but Charles tries.”
Something about Charles Evans approach caught on. After being skipped over for the rotating chairmanship of the County Council, Charles Evans was chosen. He became a go-to appointment for various posts: he was appointed to the Ethics and Compliance Committee, Planning Committee, and Board Quality and Patient Safety Committee. He is the County Board liaison to the Animal Control Board, the Cumberland County Veterans Council, the Mental Health Board, the Senior Citizens Advisory Board, the Transportation Advisory Committee, the ABC Board, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Library Board of Trustees, the Civic Center Commission, the Cumberland Community Action Program, and the Homeless Committee. He has served on the Cumberland County Policy and Facilities committees and was appointed to the Regional Land Use Advisory Commission and Social Services Board. Evans is a former member of the City of Fayetteville Planning Board, Zoning Board and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Charles Evans joined the American Legion Post 202, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6018, the Order of the Elks, and the Men’s Democratic Club. He was appointed to the Cape Fear Valley Hospital System Board of Trustees and to the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission. In 2020, he was elected President of the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials. He has been appointed to the National Association of Counties Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee.
This list is exhausting. It may be just as well that Charles Evans never married. He lives alone in the home that his parents lived in as he has grown to be a central figure in the community. When he had the surprising loss for the County Commission, he commented that he “had worked his tail off” for the people of his district and the county. He got up and ran again when the at-large position became available. He seems to be indefatigable.
Charles Evans approaches the great divides in current American politics and the great political divide among demographic groups by denying them. He begins his statement about his political views by saying “One of the most common complaints about politics these days is that the two major parties seem almost indistinguishable.” And then he contradicts himself ”Of course, everyone knows that is not really so…”. He describes his major issues, issues that grow from his personal experience:
- Local Economic Development through locally developed plans
- Transportation systems that work for each community
- Infrastructure to overcome barriers to industrial growth
- Ensuring a decent water supply
- Support for business and industry
- Criminal Justice Reform
- He calls for more support for Second Chance Pell Education Grants for the formerly incarcerated and expunging the criminal records of all those convicted of non-violent offenses.
- Better Health Care for All and Housing for All
- He argues that more affordable housing through housing vouchers and leasing plans, health care availability for all, and effective interconnection of public agencies to eliminate the problem of homelessness
Charles Evans https://www.charlesevansforcongress2022.com/ is sui generis. He has made his way locally, only recently connecting to national organizations. At sixty-one years old, he is not a kid. His ideas have been developed through his own hard times, through his own progress in politics that, recently enough, was only for white men. If he were elected, he would be a distinct and interesting voice. Redistricting will be a factor in the possibility of his being elected. But Charles Evans himself is also a factor. He is indefatigable. He does not give up. He could defeat a five term Congressman who opposes gun safety, who opposes abortion, who voted not to certify Joe Biden as President and whose version of an original idea for legislation was to prohibit EPA officials from using airplanes for their work.
Democrats challenging for Republican seats (I will be adding to the list)
Candidates to flip Republican Seats
California 39 Jay Chen https://chenforcongress.com
California 48 Harley Rouda https://harleyforcongress.com
Colorado 03 Kerry Donovan https://kerrydonovanforcongress.com
Illinois 13 David Palmer. https://palmerforillinois.com
North Carolina 08 Charles Evans https://www.charlesevansforcongress2022.com/
Ohio 15 Allison Russo https://allisonrusso.co (Special election November, 2021.)
Pennsylvania 10 Eugene DePasquale https://eugeneforcongress.com
These are vulnerable incumbent Democratic Members of Congress. If you want to play some defense (and we all should), choose a few of them to support. If you want to learn about them, look at my Notes about them in the website.
Members of Congress who won with less than 52% of the vote or are otherwise endangered
Georgia 07 Carolyn Bordeaux https://www.carolyn4congress.com Received 51.39% of the vote in 2020
Iowa 03 Cynthia Axne https://cindyaxneforcongress.com Received 48.9% of the vote in 2020
Illinois 14 Lauren Underwood https://underwoodforcongress.com Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020
Michigan 08 Elissa Slotkin https://elissaforcongress.com Received 50.88% of the vote in 2020
Michigan 11 Haley Stevens https://haleystevensforcongress.com Received 50.2% of the vote in 2020
Minnesota 02 Angie Craig https://angiecraig.com Received 48.21% of the vote in 2020
Nevada 03 Susie Lee https://www.susieleeforcongress.com Received 48.75% of the vote in 2020
Nevada 04 Steve Horsford https://www.stevenhorsford.com Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020
New Mexico 01 Tom O’Halloran https://www.tomohalleran.com Received 51.61% of the vote in 2020
New Jersey 07 Tom Malinowski https://malinowskifornj.com Received 50.61% of the vote in 2020
Oregon 04 Peter DeFazio https://www.defazioforcongress.org Received 51.26% of the vote in 2020
Texas 07 Lizzie Fletcher https://www.lizziefletcher.com Received 50.79% of the vote in 2020
Texas 15 Vicente Gonzalez http://www.vicentegonzalez.com Received 50.5% of the vote in 2020
Texas 32 Colin Allred https://www.colinallred.com Received 51.95% of the vote in 2020
Virginia 02 Elaine Luria https://elaineforcongress.com Received 51.6% of the vote in 2020
Washington 08 Kim Schrier https://www.drkimschrier.com Received 51.79% of the vote in 2020
Organizations to support
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) https://dccc.org
The Democratic National Committee (DNC). https://democrats.org The official organization of the Democratic Party.
Fair Fight https://fairfight.com Promotes fair elections around the country
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Support Democrats. Sadly, Republicans have become enemies of democracy.