Former legislator says personal reason behind decision not to seek seat

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Though his name will appear on the ballot, Arthur Williams has dropped out of the race for the 6th District seat in the North Carolina General Assembly.

Williams, in a brief interview Tuesday, said concerns with his wife’s health — she suffers with Parkinson’s disease — is the reason he dropped his bid to return to the state House. Williams, who filed for the seat last month as a Republican, once held the 6th District seat as a Democrat. Republican Bill Cook defeated him in the 2010 general election. Cook is now the state senator from District 1.

“I told the Board of Elections … my wife’s health,” Williams said about his decision to drop out of the race.

“I got to thinking about it during the holidays. It was a family decision. At first she said, “Go ahead and do it,’ you know,” Williams said. “We got to talking about it as a family during Christmas and thought the best thing for me to do was withdraw.”

The Beaufort County Republican Party announced Williams’ withdrawal in an email.

“Beaufort County Republican Party Chairman, Keith Kidwell recently spoke with Mr. Williams about his decision. During that conversation Williams indicated that the decision was purely personal. He wishes both of the remaining candidates the best of luck with their races,” reads part of that email.

Williams missed the deadline to officially withdraw from the race and not have his name appear on the ballot, according to Scott Sheppard, an elections specialist with the Beaufort County Board of Elections. Sheppard said it’s his understanding that Williams is using word of mouth to let people know he dropped out of the race.

Williams’ withdrawal leaves two Republicans in the March 15 GOP primary for the 6th District seat, now held by Paul Tine, an unaffiliated legislator who is not seeking re-election. Ashley Woolard, a Washington resident, and Beverly Boswell, a member of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, are seeking the GOP nomination for that seat. The district includes part of Beaufort County and all of Hyde, Dare and Washington counties.

Dare County Democrats Judy Justice and Warren Judge are seeking the Democratic nomination for the 6th District seat being vacated by Tine.







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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