Lawson stumps for her conservatism

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mattie Lawson was stumping in Washington on Tuesday, seeking votes for next week’s second primary to determine the Republican nominee to take on Democrat Paul Tine in the race for the 6th District seat in the N.C. House of Representatives.
Lawson, during a brief stop at the Washington Daily News, said she would spend time reaching out to her base of supporters between today and the second primary.
“We’re visiting our base. That’s what the runoff is about, getting the base voters to remember to come out and vote,” Lawson said.
Lawson, a Dare County resident, faces Beaufort County resident Arthur Williams in Tuesday’s second primary, which Williams requested after the May 8 primary. Because Lawson did not receive 40 percent or more of the votes, Williams had the option of seeking a second primary, which he did.
In the May 8 primary, Lawson tallied 2,677 votes, Williams collected 2,585 votes and Jeremy Adams garnered 1,911 votes. Adams, who has endorsed Williams, is not in the second primary.
Lawson, on the Eastern North Carolina Tea Party’s website, describes herself as an “unashamed Christian conservative activist” and said she started the Tea Party movement on the Outer Banks.
“I’m doing a lot more door-to-door for the second primary. Because of the value of each individual vote, I want to get out and meet people,” Lawson said. “For the first primary, there was a short turnaround time and I had so many other things to do that I didn’t have the chance to focus as much on meeting individual voters. I would talk to groups. … I’m more up on the issues because I’ve had time to read up on them.”
Lawson explained her door-to-door approach.
“My basic message is the same as it was in the very beginning. The reason I’m doing this is to keep District 6 conservative Republican,” Lawson said. “That’s my goal.”
Lawson addressed endorsements of Williams by Adams and U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, whose 3rd Congressional District includes part of Beaufort County.
“I don’t think a lot of people consider them conservatives. They’re Republicans, but they don’t have a proven record of being conservatives. I’m going after the conservative vote, whether it’s a Republican or independent, unaffiliated,” Lawson said.
Lawson said many people she’s talked with have concerns “at the federal level.” Lawson said, if she were elected, she would have little, if any, influence at the federal level.
“They’re dissatisfied with what the government is doing, and that they’re looking for change. They’re looking to vote out incumbents and they’re looking for candidates that will do what they promise. Term limits are a very strong message that many people I’m talking to are interested in,” Lawson said.
When asked why Lawson was the top vote-getter in the May 8 primary and why he believes her message resonates with voters, Hood Richardson, a Beaufort County commissioner and Lawson supporter, said, “It’s just what she said. She wants to keep the district conservative. I don’t think the public is looking for the same kind of politician they’ve had in the past because they realize that now that we have spent so much money and wasted so much, it has hurt every citizen in the United States. They’re looking for conservative people who understand the Constitution. They’re looking at their basic individual rights. We’re hearing a lot about guns and gun rights and being able to bear arms. They’re afraid of losing that. The public is willing to vote for someone who is promising to do that (protect those rights). Just promising to go to Raleigh and bring home the bacon doesn’t get it done because the public now realizes that’s their money being recycled.”
“People are worried,” responded Lawson.
Lawson made several stops in the area, including Slatestone Grocery, the Plantation House and Acre Station Meat Farm.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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