Lawson makes three

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GOP candidates crowd District 6 field

A third candidate has entered the race for the Republican nomination in state House District 6.

Mattie Lawson, a tea-party-allied activist from Kill Devil Hills, on Tuesday told the Daily News she intends to run for the post.

The district includes most of Beaufort County north of the Pamlico River, plus Hyde, Dare and Washington counties.

Lawson joins Washington Realtor Jerry Evans and former state Rep. Arthur Williams, both Republicans, in this three-way primary contest.

Rep. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, has bowed out of the District 6 race in favor of a run for the 1st Senate District.

On the Democratic side, one candidate, small businessman Paul Tine of Kitty Hawk, has told the Daily News he plans to seek the District 6 job.

“It’s an exciting time to run because of the opportunities,” said Lawson.

Lawson said she retired as a department head in national geospatial imagery from defense contractor Raytheon Co. in northern Virginia.

She moved to this area in 2005.

She serves as secretary of the Dare County Republican Party and helped organize a tea-party group on the Outer Banks.

This is her first run for elective office.

Lawson resides with her husband, Connard. She has three children and nine grandchildren, including two due this summer.

“My motivation (for running) is keeping North Carolina a good place for my children and grandchildren to grow up,” she said.

She mentioned that Evans and Williams are former Democrats.

“I know that there’s a very strong conservative Republican support team in Beaufort County and in Dare County,” Lawson said. “So I’m not even worried about (Evans and Williams). I also know that they’re recent Republicans. They’ve seen the light in the last year — and I’m a lifelong Republican, a lifelong conservative.”

She added that she is a pro-life office-seeker and favors requiring photo IDs for all North Carolina voters.

Lawson has scored an endorsement from Hood Richardson, a Republican Beaufort County commissioner who is running for re-election this year. Richardson is also a past candidate for state House and state Senate.

“We were looking for a conservative candidate and we found one,” Richardson said, adding, “I’m supporting Mattie because she’s a conservative Republican.”

The filing period for North Carolina offices begins Feb. 13 and ends Feb. 29.

The primary election will be held May 8.

One Democrat and one Republican in District 6 will advance from the primary to confront each other in the Nov. 6 general election.