Retired colonel is Rep. Kissell's first opponent

Retired Army Col. Lou Huddleston (R) announced Wednesday that he would run against Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) in 2010.

"Since Larry Kissell has gone to Washington, things have gotten worse, not better," Huddleston said in a statement. "The citizens of the 8th congressional district deserve a principled leader who represents them, not a yes man for the out-of-touch politicians in Washington."

First, the good: Huddleston is a black Republican with a solid resume in a district that is 27 percent black. If he can steal some of that demographic from Kissell, he'll have a real good shot in a swing district.

The bad: Huddleston lost by a big margin in a state House campaign last year, 62-38, against an incumbent Democrat.

National Republicans view Huddleston as a promising candidate, but he isn't a field-clearer, so it will be interesting to see who else gets in this race after former Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) said last week that he wouldn't seek his old seat.

Hayes has offered Huddleston some praise, but others, including Union County District Attorney John Snyder, have also shown some interest in the race.

Tennessee Valley Authority official Linwood Faulk recently announced that he would not run for the seat and would support Huddleston.