Chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party Troy Lawson has announced that he will not be running for reelection at the Republican County Convention in March.
Much of the time even Republicans don’t now who the county chairman is, but Lawson was in the news more than most party chairman because he was the first black chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party and while chairman he ran for office. Lawson had to be given a waiver to run for office without stepping down as chairman, but the North Carolina Republican Party emphatically recommended that Lawson be given such a waiver to run for the District 57 House seat and he was.
So along with being chairman during the 2018 election, Lawson was running his own campaign for the state House which was an unusual race. District 57 is a minority majority district drawn to increase minority representation in the House and it pitted a black Republican, Lawson against a white Democrat now state Rep. Ashton Clemmons. She defeated Lawson pretty handily with 67.5 percent of the vote to 32.5 percent for Lawson, who did about the same as white Republicans running in minority majority districts indicating that in 2018 political party was paramount in the minds of voters.
Lawson was also an unusual chairman in that he had lived in Greensboro and been a member of the Guilford County Republican Party for less than two years when he was elected chairman. He may not be long time member of the Guilford County Republican Party, but Lawson is a long time Republican. Lawson said that when he was 15 he worked for Republican Senator Edward Brooke from Massachusetts and he’s been working for Republican candidates ever since.
From the time he arrived in Greensboro Lawson was extremely active in the party and served as executive director. When he announced he was running for chairman no one ran against him, so he was elected by acclamation.
Lawson said he has enjoyed being chairman but it was time for him to get back to a paying job. During his time as chairman, Lawson completed his MBA, but did not have an outside job.
Being county chairman can take as much time as a person is willing to give it as can being a candidate for public office. So in effect Lawson had two full time jobs and neither one of them paid a salary.
Lawson said that he looked forward to getting back in the workforce and that he hopes some of the contacts he has made as chairman will help.