NC-08: Horatio Alger, meet Tim D’Annunzio.

Here in Moore County, some of us were greeted with a pretty ugly 23938_dannunziofcampaign mailer from the Richard Hudson campaign hurling all kinds of allegations at challenger Tim D’Annunzio.  Jailed three times for burglary, assaulting a police officer.  Willful failure to pay child support? Local leaders say he’s “unfit” to hold office?  WHOA.

We’re new to the 8th district here.  A lot of our establishment types are falling in behind Hudson because they are being told to do so by Raleigh.  But who is this D’Annunzio fellow?  Well, we’re being told to dismiss him.  We’re told he’s a “nut” — a “kook”.   I talked with D’Annunzio today to see if we couldn’t drill down into some of this and see if we can separate the truth from the manure:

A kook? One thing D’Annunzio critics have latched onto is a blog he authors that features a lot of citation of biblical scripture.  Some suggest the language hints at kookery or instability.

567c5633e5324.imageIf being a faithful Christian is kooky, then I’m kooky.  Guilty as charged,” D’Annunzio said with a chuckle. “Want to know some of the other ‘kooky’ things I believe in?  I believe God created the Earth.  I believe a whole nation of people crossed through a parted sea.”

On the other hand, we’ve documented pretty clearly that the incumbent, Richard Hudson, fabricated a chunk of his professional bio.  He appears to have fabricated a business that didn’t exist anywhere but on paper.  He campaigned in 2012 as a “businessman” but had challenges keeping his story straight about exactly what the “business” did.

Which of these two strikes you as kookier? 

A rough upbringing.   D’Annunzio confesses his early life was less than idyllic. He grew up dirt poor in a rough neighborhood.  He says he fell in with a rough crowd and made some bad choices.

NC02.02-Tim-DAnnunzioIn 1973, at age 15, his mother gave him permission to join the US Army — as a way to escape the bad influences all around him in the neighborhood.  By 1976, D’Annunzio had bailed on the Army and come home.  He fell into a life of drinking and drugs and out and out mischief.

One particular night out with the guys gave him quite the wakeup call.  D’Annunzio and his crew were heading out to a beer party at the local firehouse.  He recalls they all commented on a window they passed that bore a sticker proclaiming it as “unbreakable glass.”   Young guys under the influence of alcohol and “unbreakable glass” are not a good combination.  *I think you can see where this is headed.*

“I had too much too drink at the party, got a little rowdy, and got put out the door,” said D’Annunzio. “I walked home past that unbreakable glass, and ended up putting my fist through it.”

That act of stupidity earned him a very bloody, battered hand.  He said he put his hand in his pocket and went back to the firehouse, seeking assistance from some of the EMTs there.

D’annunzio ended up at the hospital for treatment.  Meanwhile, the cops found the broken “unbreakable” glass, and followed the blood trail back to the firehouse.  From there, they tracked D’Annunzio to the hospital.

“They told me they were going to charge me with burglary,” he said. “Even though I didn’t go in and didn’t take anything.  I panicked and tried to make a run for it.  That earned me some more charges for my trouble.”

In court, young D’Annunzio was advised to plead guilty to the burglary charge, so that the charges involving the cops at the hospital would be dropped.  D’Annunzio agreed and got three months in the county jail.Golden-Knights-Logo1

D’Annunzio did his time — got out — and went back into the embrace of the US Army.  “The Army saved my life in more ways than one,” the candidate said.

D’Annunzio went on to serve honorably with the Special Forces and the Army’s world-renowned Golden Knights parachute team. He said he was told, some time into this second stint with the Army, that his legal troubles had been cleared from his record.

Later, D’Annunzio went on to work for NASA in the space shuttle program.

Said D’Annunzio: “If I was the unstable person these people claimed, would the Special Forces, the Golden Knights, and NASA have even given me the time of day?”

Another bump in the road. In the 90s, D’Annunzio was out of the Army, living in North Carolina, and trying to get his body-armor business up and running on firm ground.

The business fell into hard times, cash got tight, and his marriage fell apart.

080105_TimKirk“The divorce got ugly,” said D’Annunzio. “But what divorce doesn’t? Are there any pretty ones?”

D’Annunzio and his ex-wife got into serious disagreements over child custody and support payments.  On one occasion, where he attempted to visit the children, his now ex-wife called the police.

Some courtroom action arose regarding child support payments.

“The business was struggling,” D’Annunzio said. “I was running it from my house.  The judge was treating it as though as it was still a thriving, large manufacturing operation.   I didn’t have the cash he was ordering me to pay.  I was trying to keep my business afloat. And it wasn’t there at the time.”

D’Annunzio said he did what he had to do to make this work out — even going as far as taking a job as a laborer to generate some more cash. 

A happy ending? Things turned around for D’Annunzio.  The business got back on its feet.  He and his kids and his ex-wife are now amicable.

D’Annunzio sold his business for a healthy windfall.  He and his family now run a parachuting freefall simulator / wind tunnel on US 401 between Raeford and Fayetteville.  They also own and operate the Raeford airport and operate a fleet of aircraft there for contract work with the government and some private sources.

D’Annunzio hopes that voters will look past the troubling parts of his life to see a man who emerged from tough circumstances to serve his country, become a successful businessman, and a family man.

19 thoughts on “NC-08: Horatio Alger, meet Tim D’Annunzio.

  1. Good on you for detailing this, Brant. Tim D’Annunzio, the local boy-made-good has overcome errors in spades. In any other environment, he’d be hailed for his character. But, in the world of the GOPe, no good turn goes unpunished, especially when their guy is panicking.
    The low-life, Hudson carpet bagger mailing is going to backfire.
    We need to rally our NC-8 Vets to Tim’s side. Contact your veteran buddies and talk about Tim’s success story.

  2. If he was all Hudson says he is, he would have never gotten the clearance to work SF, the Knights, or NASA.

  3. Just to clarify, I was a parachute rigger in 7th Special Forces Group, and after the Golden Knights I was a Military Free Fall Instructor assigned to USAJFK Special Warfare Center. I was also an Infantryman 11B, but never went through the Q Course.

  4. The truth never fails to surprise! D’Annunzio should be hailed as a leader and role model. Only America can give someone with such a shabby start in life the opportunity to succeed, God bless America, and her heroic son, Tim D’Annunzio!

  5. Hudson was a Robin Hayes lackey for years and was picked to take the seat when the Republicans redistricted it so Democrats couldn’t win it again. It was handed to him on a silver platter. Now he thinks he’s entitled to stay in DC. He needs to be sent packing just like Hayes was.

    He’s an establishment career politician supported by lobbyists and PACs.

  6. Apparently the 8th district packed with folks with impressive resume or story. I don’t know Tim, this is the first time I read about his story. However, I do know Hudson in person, young and energetic, I have heard Hudson was endorsed by NRA and national right to life, 90% rating from club for growth. Hudson with track record to back up. Very impressive conservative fellow in Congress.

    1. The NRA ALWAYS goes with the incumbent, as long as he hasn’t tried to burn down Ed’s Gun Shop. NRA is a single issue lobby who does a super job with the 2A. but it has zero interest in overall candidate character or potential to serve the Sandhills voter.
      Hell the NRA has endorsed Burr!
      I rest my case.

      1. Burr and Hudson are both all talk and no action. Burr is an embarrassment and Hudson has certainly exposed his lack of character when he sent out those deceptive mailings. He is what he is-a political hustler.

      2. Burr and Hudson are both all talk and no action. Burr is an embarrassment and Hudson has certainly exposed his lack of character when he sent out those deceptive mailings. He is what he is-a political hustler looking for a permanent gig.

    2. Hudson has a “track record” of saying he’s a business man with no business. Also, a track record of voting wrong on key votes, or not voting at all. This isn’t a contest of who’s nicest to me for 5 minutes and a hand shake. Do your homework.

    3. The NRA and National Right to Life both whore themselves to incumbents. Both are worthless organizations when it comes to trusting their endorsements. All of their so-called ”Right to Life Democrats” betrayed National Right to Life on Obamacare, and they had endorsed many of them over Republican challengers who were much stronger on Life issues.

      One key race last time was the primary in Kentucky where national conservative groups were working to unseat treacherous establishment snake Mitch McConnell. Both NRA and NRTL went with the establishment’s McConnell over his conservative challenger. If anything screams absolute worthlessness for a supposedly conservative organization, that does. Another key race six years ago was trying to take out Harry Reid in the general election. In spite of some really bad gun votes, the NRA had put nice things about Reid on its website and was on the verge of endorsing him. It took a heck of a lot of pressure to stop that endorsement, and the most they would do is stay out of the race. An NRA endorsement of Reid’s Republican challenger could well have retired Reid.

      The question that makes the most difference on an NRA or NRTL candidate questionaire is ”Are you an incumbent or a challenger?”. As I said, both are absolute whores to incumbents.

      With gun rights, fortunately there are more dependable groups out there like Gunowners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, and in our own state Grassroots North Carolina. Those are the guys I would trust on 2nd amendment issues. They are all about getting the strongest pro-gun candidates elected, not whoring to incumbents like the NRA does.

      1. Oh, and it is not just about incumbents. NRA seems to feel like it has to endorse a bunch of Democrats in close open seat races. One election, I remember seeing a list of close open seat House races around the country and out of curiousity, I looked up the NRA endorsements in those races, and found that the NRA had endorsed more Democrats than Republicans in those open seat close House races. One can be sure the Republicans were NOT anti-gun and would be either stronger pro-gun or at worst equally pro-gun as the Democrats. I looked up the real pro-gun groups and they either had dual endorsements of both candidates, endorsed the Republican, or stayed out of the race. When both candidates support your issue, it is insane to endorse one over the other. When the Democrat is weaker on gun rights, it is insane to endorse him over a more dependable Republican, just to claim your organization is ”bi-partisan”. NRA sucks big time in its endorsements.

        The West Virginia Senate race in the general election when Manchin was elected is another good example. Manchin, the Democrat was somewhat pro-gun in this open seat race while his Republican opponent was very solidly pro-gun and the polls were showing the race a toss up. NRA jumped in with an endorsement for Manchin which he turned into an iconic TV ad that turned the race in his favor. Manchin later stabbed the NRA in the back on some key gun legislation, and his famous endorsement from the NRA gave him a lot of credibility to screw the NRA. We would likely have a solidly pro-gun Republican in that seat instead of undependable Manchin if the stinking NRA had not stuck its nose in the race in the wrong way.

        If you are pro-gun, drop your NRA membership and join one of the other, more dependable pro-gun groups instead.

    4. Mr. Hudson is another Paul Ryan, a professional politician who has never worked outside of Government-and his entry into Congress was paved for him by the establishment. He has voted YES for everything Obama has sent to Congress.
      You might want to check his record further-it is not stellar.
      He is looking for an easy way to increase his wealth-without having to really work that hard and is a useful pawn.
      It is time to elect people that know what it is to run a business/provide jobs and be financially successful on their own, that is not a description of Mr. Hudson.

  7. Since Mr. Clifton appears to have forgotten to reference the name of the blog in question one is left to assume he’s referring to But that blog has not been public in years, and Mr. Clifton uses the present tense of author, so he can’t be referring to If Mr. Clifton had provided a link to the blog in question he could have allowed his readers to make up their own minds about whether the language “hints at kookery or instability.”


    1. Hudson’s liberal voting record more than hints at treachery and back-stabbing against conservative voters in North Carolina, and that is the most important factor in this race.

      We need to get rid of all the Boehner / Ryan lackeys like Hudson that we can in the primaries.

  8. The NRA lost my membership when they entered into the Tillis and Brannon Republican PRIMARY, and backed the WORST candidate. I don’t even wear my NRA baseball caps anymore.

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