How One Campaign is Winning Votes on Local Issues

Walking around in his blue jeans and button down shirt, Frank McNeill looks more like your stereotypical father than he does a politician. Well-spoken with an understated southern drawl, Frank is known for his infectious sense of humor and his local oil and gas business. What you might not expect, though, is that Frank McNeill is the two-time mayor of Aberdeen, and he’s mounting a serious bid for Congress in North Carolina’s 8th District.

Listening to Frank tell it, his opponent, Congressman Richard Hudson, is in the pocket of D.C. lobbyists. While that seems like the tried and true line of attack against a Washington incumbent, Frank McNeill is deadly earnest. Rep. Hudson’s largest donors are the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, while McNeill busy trying to combat the increased price of drugs that’s plaguing the nation and his district. Frank’s solution: let Medicare directly negotiate with drug companies to lower prices, making sure retirees don’t see their hard-earned money disappear from skyrocketing costs.

But it’s not just on healthcare that McNeill is running on. There is a whole spate of local issues that McNeill and his constituents want addressed. In a sprawling county that includes cities like Fayetteville, tiny towns like Southern Pines, and large swaths of farmland in between, increasing broadband and high-speed internet access throughout is a priority. As is retaining and attracting talent, and supporting small businesses — something Frank and his family are well acquainted with. And while Hudson might be outspending McNeill, these issues — along with a crack team of veteran campaign staff — are helping McNeill put Hudson on the defensive. “We’re going on the offensive,” McNeill’s campaign director, Marc O’Hara, says with a grin.