Candidates seek seats in the Legislature

Published 6:22 pm Monday, February 17, 2014

Rep. Michael Speciale, a Republican who represents the 3rd District in the N.C. House of Representatives is seeking re-election.

Republican Mattie Lawson is seeking to be the Republican nominee to run for the 6th District seat in the N.C. House. That seat is now held by Democrat Paul Tine, who is seeking re-election. Republican Jeremy D. Adams is also seeking to be the Republican nominee for the 6th District.

Speciale, in his first term in the state House, is a retired Marine, a former small-business owner and a former chairman of the Craven County Republican Party. He is a graduate fellow of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, has an AAS in business management/operations management and graduated from basic law enforcement training.

The 3rd District includes all of Pamlico County and parts of Beaufort and Craven counties.

Speciale opposes tolls on ferries that are now free and increasing tolls on ferries that now charge tolls. During a recent meeting in Beaufort County concerning ferry tolls, Speciale said he would continue to fight them, taking that fight back to the N.C. General Assembly in its upcoming short session in May.

Speciale said the fight against ferry tolls is not over. “Don’t give up the fight. We (area legislators) haven’t,” he told the audience at the meeting.

Lawson was narrowly defeated by Tine in the 2012 election for the 6th District seat. The district includes part of Beaufort County, part of Washington County and all of Hyde and Dare counties.

In a press release, Lawson said she wants to relax the state’s “excessive, punitive fishing regulations and fines imposed on our hardworking North Carolina seafood providers.”

Lawson also weighed in on education.

“North Carolina’s commitment to Common Core, the copyrighted education standards causing uproars across the nation due to the inappropriateness of their material for young students, the draconian way they were forced upon our students and unfairly tying the hands or our very able teachers must be stopped before more damage is done,” she said in the press release.

Judy Kahenbuhl, a retired educator and former chairwoman of the Dare County Democratic Party, is seeking the 1st District seat in the state Senate. That seat is held by Republican Bill Cook, who is seeking re-election. Democrat Stan White, whom Cook defeated in 2012, is also seeking to be the Democratic nominee to take on Cook in the general election in November.

In a press release, she said she is running “in order to fight the extreme actions of the current General Assembly and help create a state that supports success for all citizens-not just a select few.” The candidate said her campaign will emphasis the importance of a strong public education system, support of voters and women’s rights and the need to create a business climate in District 1 that will provide new opportunity for growth through technology and education.

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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