Former Chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party Troy Lawson, 58, died Monday, Nov. 30, while undergoing heart surgery.

Lawson, who served as Guilford County Republican Party chairman from 2017 to 2019, was the first black chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party.

A native of Boston, Lawson got his start in politics as a teenager working on the campaign of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke. When Lawson became old enough to vote, he registered as a Republican.

For the next 40 years Lawson, wherever he lived, was involved in campaigns and the Republican Party. He and his wife, Stephanie, moved to Guilford County in 2015 and Lawson went right to work with the Guilford County Republican Party, rising to chairman just two years after moving to Greensboro.

Although Lawson had been involved in politics, his work was behind the scenes, campaigning for Republican candidates and working with the Republican Party, until he ran for the state House District 57 seat in 2017. District 57 had been redrawn and is a heavily Democratic district, making it difficult for the Republican Party to attract a candidate, until Lawson stepped up and offered to run. Lawson didn’t win that race, but did get a taste for running for office.

In 2020, Lawson ran for the Guilford County Board of Commissioner District 5 seat and lost to Democrat Carly Cooke.

Two defeats in a row might get some folks down, but, as recently as last week, Lawson was contacting people to talk about running for a seat on the Greensboro City Council in 2021. He was ready to get back out on the campaign trail, knocking on doors and talking to people about a topic he loved – politics.

Lawson had a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and an MBA from Strayer University. He had worked in higher education, nonprofit management and as a consultant.

Lawson and his wife, Stephanie, have two grown daughters.