With U.S. Rep. David Price dominating the 4th Congressional District for 20-plus years, the general election in that race is usually a snoozer. But the 2010 Republican primary promises to be freakishly entertaining as George Hutchins, Frank Roche, David Burnett and B.J. Lawson vie for their party’s nomination.

Lawson is running again after winning the ’08 primary over Augustus Cho, despite the latter’s backing from some GOP bigwigs. On one hand, Lawson’s principles echo the Libertarian and free-market right: the elimination of federal income tax and “onerous” regulations, and the establishment of health care savings accounts instead of universal health insurance. He doesn’t support Roe v. Wade.

Yet, at times, Lawson, an Apex resident, sounds progressive, opposing the war in Iraq, the war on drugs, the death penalty and a constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage.

Far more colorful is Hutchins, an ex-Marine living in Raleigh, whose seizure-inducing campaign Web site [seriouslyclick that link] features a photo of him and former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, with the caption “greatest North Carolina leader.

Hutchins calls the election of Barack Obama the “Alamo” moment of the Republican Party. (That means some day Obama will get a national monument and a movie starring Billy Bob Thornton.)

Further drilling uncovered another Hutchins Web site that features Obama’s photo next to characters from Planet of the Apes. Even further drilling links Hutchins to the National Independents Movement [seizure-inducing site No. 2]. It was founded in Germany and supports “research into the traditions and history of our northwest European heritage.” Yet, in carefully parsed language, N.I.M. denies being racist: “N.I.M. leaves it to every individual to decide this question of status, or superiority for themselves, concerning the equality of racial groups worldwide.”

By comparison, Roche’s issue statements seem run-of-the-mill right-wing on human contributions to global warming, illegal immigration and hate crimes legislation. Roche used to live in New York City, but as his Web site explains, “Faced with a technological paradigm shift taking place in the foreign exchange market, with significant negative impact on earnings potential, in July 2007, Frank left his job as Vice President of Foreign Exchange Trading,” and moved to Apex.

Burnett, who lives in Cary, owns a small roofing business, and he uses his trade as a lens for his political viewpoints: “I am a roofer so let’s imagine together you and I sitting on top of a roof seeing a train full of people increasing in speed going downhill towards the cliff of chaos. Government spending is the engine. Greed and Ignorance are its fuel.”