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March 6, 2021

North Carolina lawmakers continue condemnation, clarify objections to election results

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — North Carolina congressmen on Thursday continued to condemn a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol and clarify their positions about votes to contest Electoral College votes cast for President-elect Joe Biden.

Reps. Richard Hudson, a Republican who represented part of Rowan County until this week, and Ted Budd, a Republican whose district now covers all of Rowan County, were among the swath of GOP lawmakers who signed off on contesting the Electoral College votes across six states declaring Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

“I was on the House floor when the brave Capitol Police officers and the Sergeant at Arms locked down the chamber and told us to evacuate,” Budd said in a statement issues Thursday. “We were ushered to safety and remained in secure locations for several hours. At that point, everyone ceased being political opponents. We were fathers, mothers and fellow Americans.”

Budd also said his efforts to contest the election via the constitutional process of debate was never about overturning an election but rather, “standing up for the integrity of each and every citizen’s vote.”

“The American people deserve to know without a doubt that their votes, our electoral system and the choosing of our public officials is fair and accountable,” Budd said. “That is why I objected. At around 1:40 a.m., I returned to the House rostrum and delivered my objection to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Hudson also condemned Wednesday’s riot.

“I was on the House floor today when this incident started. There was a great deal of emotion and fear. I never dreamed I would be locked-down in the House chamber and eventually evacuated for my safety as a mob roamed the halls of the Capitol,” Hudson wrote in a statement. “However, I returned to that House chamber tonight to do the people’s business. Democrats and Republicans stood together tonight to demonstrate that America is not governed by the mob. America is governed by the law.”

His statement was also accompanied by a pledge to “put the long-term interests of our nation ahead of any short-term political interest.”

Sen. Richard Burr, another Republican representing North Carolina, did not join other GOP lawmakers in contesting the election results. Neither did Sen. Thom Tillis.

Burr said Trump bears the responsibility for Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol by promoting “unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point.”

Wednesday’s attack prompted nearly 200 Democrats from both the House and Senate to officially call for Trump to be removed from office. Among those Democrats is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who are joined by Independent Senators Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Additionally, they are joined by one Republican, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger. While some call for impeachment, others are requesting Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office immediately.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, called for Trump’s removal or resignation on Thursday.

“This president has betrayed our country and is therefore unfit to lead it,” Cooper stated in an online post. “He should resign or be removed from office.”

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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