Lawson: keep House conservative

Published 9:26 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mattie Lawson’s campaign for a seat in the state House of Representatives actually began two years ago when Republicans captured control of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time in 100 years.
Their legislative accomplishments provided the spark for the Dare County Republican to step from the shadows and run for office.
“I had never really had any aspirations to run for office because I was enjoying working behind the scenes helping other people,” Lawson said while campaigning outside the Beaufort County Board of Elections. “But I am very interested, extremely interested, in keeping North Carolina conservative Republican. That’s the driving factor. That’s the reason I’m doing it because for the last two years, since the Republican Party has had control of the General Assembly, they have passed legislation that has benefitted our families.”
Lawson, a self-employed business consultant from Dare County, is facing Democrat Paul Tine for the District 6 seat in the state House of Representatives. Even though this is her first general election, she survived two Republican primaries to win the nomination earlier this year.
Lawson voiced her support for measures such as lifting the cap off charter schools, reducing workman’s compensation payments and removing income tax off the first $50,000.
She also believes in some form of a voter ID law for North Carolina.
“Seventy-three percent of North Carolinians believe we need a photo ID,” Lawson said. “There’s no reason not to pass that. There is a concern about being disenfranchised but where is the concern about voter fraud? There are instances of voter fraud.
“If there’s a sacrifice on one side over the other, I think the disenfranchised few would be better served to not get the vote than those multiple opportunities and current opportunities for voter fraud.”
Lawson, who moved to North Carolina from Virginia, has a background as a principal systems engineer government contractor for the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency.
She also helped organize the first tea party event on the Outer Banks on tax day in 2009.
“I don’t have a pet project,” Lawson said. “I don’t have a personal agenda that I’m pushing for. It’s not my agenda and I’m not even feeling like I’m running this race for me.
“I represent an idea — an idea that the government has reached the tipping point where it is so big, they can’t even keep track of themselves.”
If there is one issue that Lawson is concerned about, it is government spending.
“There’s no real belonging to a tea party,” Lawson said. “It’s like being a Christian. If you’re not a Christian, you may not see any need for it. But if you are a Christian and you have that belief system, you surround yourself with people who have similar beliefs because we are trying to have some influence in stopping the spending. The government is just overspending. That’s the primary issue that we have, the size of the government is exploding. They’re getting into areas of our lives they shouldn’t be and we’re losing our freedom and it’s about freedom. The Constitution is not being adhered to and we’d like to train people on the Constitution, remind them why this government could be working better for the citizens and our grandchildren.”