McLaughlin was defeated by incumbent Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) in the Republican primary on May 6, 2008.
McLaughlin was the first candidate to be endorsed in the 2008 election by Vets for Freedom. In a January 27, 2008 press release announcing the endorsement, Vets for Freedom Exrcutive Director Pete Hegseth writes, "The current Representative of North Carolina's 3rd District not only voted on multiple occasions to set a timetable for retreat from Iraq, but represented the lone Republican voice in a letter to President Bush demanding the closing of Guantanamo Bay. Clearly he does not recognize the threats that our country faces in the 21st Century. Joe McLaughlin is the answer to this inherent weakness in Congress, and I am proud to offer the support of Vets for Freedom." 
Money in politics
Information on this candidate's 2008 fundraising is not yet available. Stay tuned for live feeds of data from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.