Mattie Lawson devastated her opponent, former Democrat Arthur Williams, in the Republican runoff yesterday, defeating him by a 2 to 1 margin. Lawson will now face well-funded Democrat Paul Tine of Dare County in November.
Lawson won all four counties by wide margins despite being vastly outspent. She took her home county of Dare with 81% of the vote, Williams’ home county of Beaufort with 59%, Washington with 62% and Hyde with 58%. Final results: Lawson 67%, Williams 33%. Lawson was outspent by her opponent 8 to 1. Williams saturated the district with mailers, radio and tv but could not overcome the grassroots enthusiasm of Lawson. Williams was one of several ‘political machine’ candidates to do down in eastern North Carolina primaries this year. Activists and voters have sent a clear message to the political establishment. They will not be force-fed a candidate. They can and will work hard for candidates that reflect their values. They can and will turn out the vote.