Lawson touts conservative views in House race

Published 12:50 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mattie Lawson, a candidate for the N.C. House of Representatives, says she hopes that a Republican will continue to hold the district’s seat and that the GOP can see additional gains in the November election to ensure a “veto-proof majority” in the state House.

Lawson said she was drawn to the state House race, in part, because “the thought of this state going Democratic was more than I could stand.”


Lawson describes herself as “a social and fiscal conservative.”

“I believe in family values,” she said. “I believe the government should not spend more than it makes and that local government should have control.”

As an example of her conservative views, Lawson said, “I don’t even have a television. I’m so conservative, I don’t want to let that trash in my house.”

Lawson said she supports recent efforts by the Republican-controlled Legislature to lift the cap on charter schools and, if elected, will help continue the drive to require photo identifications for voters.

“There is fraud in elections,” she said. “It’s silly that we don’t need a photo ID to vote because the system is too easy to manipulate.”

Lawson also said she is opposed to raising taxes and adding more regulations that kill jobs and stifle business growth and development.

Lawson is seeking the 6th District seat in the state House. The district includes Dare, Hyde, Washington counties and part of Beaufort County.

She is one of three Republicans who are vying for the Republican nomination in the 6th District in the May 8 primary. The other GOP candidates are Jeremy D. Adams of Nags Head and Arthur Williams of Washington.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Paul Tine of Kitty Hawk, the Democratic nominee, in the general election in November.

Incumbent 6th District Rep. Bill Cook did not seek re-election. He is vying in the Republican primary for a seat in the state Senate from the 1st District.

Lawson, 64, is a native of Virginia, where her father worked in the coal mines, and grew up in Lee County near Cumberland Gap. She attended Radford College and Bowling Green University and studied business administration at Rollins College.

She retired to the Outer Banks after a 24-year career in business. Lawson said he helped organizations become leaner by reducing waste and increasing productivity. She most recently worked for Raytheon Corp., where she was a principal systems engineer government contractor for the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency in Reston, Va.

Lawson said she is a founding member of the Outer Banks tea party — the populist movement that calls for reduced government spending, opposes excess taxation and advocates for a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. She said she most recently attended rallies on Hatteras Island and in Washington, D.C., to protest national health-care reform.

Lawson is a member of Liberty Christian Fellowship in Colington, where she serves as a member of the safety and security team.

She also serves on the Kill Devil Hills Board of Adjustment, a position she has held since 2007.

Lawson has three children and nine grandchildren.

Lawson said it’s time for North Carolina to stand up to the federal government and oppose any laws that exceed the federal government’s authority.

“We are a sovereign state,” she said. “We have the right not to obey those laws.”

Lawson said the recent efforts by the state Legislature to impose tolls on ferries that cross the Pamlico and Neuse rivers and raise existing tolls on other state ferries “is not an area I have studied enough to have an opinion.” She said increased tolls would be “devastating” to Ocracoke Island, which depends on visitors for its economic well-being.

Unlike most eastern North Carolina candidates, Lawson left the door open to support efforts to change the “equity formula” that dictates the way road-construction dollars are spent in North Carolina.

It was adopted in 1989 as part of legislation that established the Highway Trust Fund and, generally, requires a portion of road construction money be evenly divided among the state’s seven transportation administration regions, regardless of population.

“I bet there’s a better way,” she said. “North Carolina has high expenses in terms of road maintenance. I suspect it could be done a lot better.”