Tine nips Lawson; Speciale defeats Cayton

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Democrat Paul Tine took the race for the District 6 seat in N.C. House of Representatives on Tuesday night by a narrow margin over Republican Mattie Lawson. Four counties — Beaufort, Dare, Hyde and Washington — weighed in with a total of 40,675 votes: 20,564 in favor of Tine, 20,111 in favor of Lawson. While a total of 453 votes determined Tine the winner of the race, Beaufort County leaned toward the conservative Lawson by 1,626 votes.
Like the N.C. Senate District 1 race between Republican Bill Cook and Democrat Stan White, in which White was declared the winner by less than 400 votes, Lawson could call for a recount, as the difference between the candidates’ vote totals is less than 1 percent.
The District 6 race was Tine’s first run for elected office. The son of a staunch Republican and a liberal Democrat, Tine grew up in a household accustomed to compromise.
“The number one thing that people talk to me about is the desire to have someone work across the aisles and compromise. And it’s not just compromise, it’s seek out a solution and let the best solution rise,” Tine said in a recent interview.
Neither Tine nor Lawson could be reached after final vote totals were published by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Newbern resident and Republican Michael Speciale won the House District 3 race over nine-term Beaufort County Commissioner Robert Cayton, a Democrat from Aurora. Cayton greeted news of the final tally with an upbeat message.
“Well, certainly all of us are looking forward to tomorrow to continue to work to build a strong North Carolina,” Cayton said in a phone call after vote totals came in.
While Beaufort County voted for Cayton over Speciale 4,779 to 3,118, Craven and Pamlico counties went the other direction, with Pamlico County voting 2-to-1 in favor of Speciale.
Cayton said he hasn’t yet thought of running for office in the future.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Cayton said.
Cayton said he is thankful for the many people who gave their time, talent and resources to help him campaign.
“I do appreciate everyone who worked so hard in our campaign,” Cayton said. “We certainly never forget their effort and we do appreciate it.”
Vote totals are unofficial until all regular ballots, absentee ballots and provisional ballots have been processed and certified by local boards of elections. That process, known as a canvass, takes place at local boards of elections at 11 a.m. Tuesday.