Republican congressional candidate Woody White has wasted few opportunities to point out that his main GOP opponent, David Rouzer, worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
Now the Rouzer campaign, citing a 2011 Associated Press article, is pointing out that White once formed a company that the article suggests planned to lobby General Assembly lawmakers. The Rouzer campaign says that White’s frequent criticism of Rouzer’s lobbying days amounts to the pot calling the kettle black.
“It’s the height of hypocrisy, but what else would you expect of a trial lawyer?” said Jessica Wood, a Rouzer spokeswoman. “The voters in the 7th (Congressional) District deserve to know the truth.”
White’s company, BRW Group, was created in late December 2010, then quickly dissolved on Feb. 15, 2011, according to documents on file with the N.C. Secretary of State. White said the company was going to be a “business and government consulting firm,” not a lobbying firm, but that it never got off the ground.
“I never registered as a lobbyist,” White said. “The company never had any income, and incurred no debt. I never intended to be a lobbyist. There’s only one lobbyist in this race.”
He said Rouzer was trying to take attention away from the fact that Democratic lobbyist Rufus Edmisten held a fundraiser for Rouzer this week in Raleigh.
Rouzer and White, along with Fayetteville veteran Chris Andrade, are vying for the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District, which includes much of Southeastern North Carolina.
Rouzer lobbied in Washington for tobacco companies and Mt. Olive Pickle in 2007. He officially de-registered in 2008.
White has brought up Rouzer’s lobbying in the race’s only debate, in numerous media interviews, during a news conference this week and in his most recent television ad. “Career politicians and lobbyists in Washington have gotten us into a mess,” White says at the start of the ad, which is airing throughout the district. White is trying to portray Rouzer as a Washington insider who will go to the nation’s capital to get along with the political establishment.