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Hudson Runs In The Fifth

FLUVANNA – Three for the Fifth.

Ben Hudson, of Fluvanna, has made the race for the Fifth District Congressional election a three-way contest.

Hudson, a 24-year Army officer, announced his candidacy on Friday and this week told The Herald he would be running a write-in campaign.

Running as an Independent candidate, Hudson joins incumbent Robert Hurt and Democratic challenger General John Douglass, of Fauquier, though his name will not join them on the ballot.

Hudson's election papers have been filed with the Virginia State Board of Elections.

In a press release issued Friday afternoon, the Hudson campaign said its focus will be on the economy, the national deficit, healthcare benefits, tax reform and social security.

Grassroots supporters spurred him to throw his hat in the ring, the candidate said.

“The urging of people in my community,” Hudson explained.

Given that he obviously doesn't believe the incumbent Republican or the Democratic challenger offer everything the Fifth District needs, Hudson views himself as better able to find common ground in the nation's capital.

“Part of the challenge there is being able to understand the importance, the bigger picture of passing and supporting legislation that would move the process forward, versus just towing one line or the other line and not moving any process forward,” he said during a phone interview. “And I think I can be better at that than any of them.”

The Fifth District is virtually the size of New Jersey now and Hudson understands the daunting task of gaining name recognition in an area stretching from the North Carolina border to, literally, north of the capital building in D.C.

And in just over two months.

“I plan to stay busy,” he said.

Hudson was scheduled to appear at press conferences Wednesday in Danville, Charlottesville and Fauquier to discuss his candidacy and said he “will pass on as much information as I can” at each location and “put up signs. And I'll also have…supporters, hopefully, in each one of those locales to spread the word, as well as put out political signs.

“Also, over the next three or four weeks I'm going to try to get some television, press coverage locally, either in the Danville area or Charlottesville area, maybe even Fauquier, to bring my name, my platform up to the district visibility. And lastly,” he said, “be at the polls on the day of the election and get integrated into some of the debates.”

He believes he as “a chance” of being included in any debates with Hurt and Douglass. “What percent of a chance, I'm not really sure, but I have a chance. I need to get in there and let them know I'm out there and that I'm certainly interested in being invited to those debates and would certainly not mind participating.”

Hudson said he looks at the Charlottesville region and the Farmville area and sees a “strong academia platform” in both communities, creating the chance to “try to bring together public and private entities to work on increasing research and development in that area, as well as high-tech jobs, using the university as a launching point for good strong employees, whether it's in liberal arts or maybe some sort of math or science programs…Those universities provide a good working employee pool for any businesses wanting to come in.”

The 51-year old retired Army Lieutenant Colonel is married. He and his wife, Brenda, have three grown children.

Hudson served as Senior Joint Strategic Communications Officer of the United States Southern Command from 2005-2008, retiring from active duty service on August 1, 2008.

Born in Andrews, South Carolina, Hudson earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Tuskegee University. Upon completion of company command, he was selected to study at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and earned a master of science degree in electrical engineering from NPS in Monterey, California.

Hudson subsequently worked as a research engineer “at one of the most advanced state-of-the-art facilities in downtown Charlottesville,” his campaign website states, from 1993 to 1996.

He also holds a Virginia teacher license certification.

Hudson's website is www.benhudson2012.com

October 15 is the last day to register for the November 6 vote, which includes the office of President of the United States and the United States Senate.

November 3 will be the last day to vote Absentee In-Person.