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Rouzer, White campaigns level "Lobbyist" claims

Woody White and David Rouzer are two candidates running for the GOP nomination in the Seventh Congressional District race Woody White and David Rouzer are two candidates running for the GOP nomination in the Seventh Congressional District race

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The "lobbyist" accusations are now flying two ways in the race for the GOP nomination for Seventh District Congressional seat.

Woody White held a news conference Thursday to criticize one of his opponents, David Rouzer, for holding a fundraiser with a known Democratic lobbyist.

White questioned Rouzer's Thursday night planned fundraiser in Raleigh at the lobbying offices of Democrat Rufus Edmisten".

Edmisten is a former North Carolina Attorney General and Secretary of State. He resigned in 1996 and founded a law firm which is called Edmisten, Webb & Moore in Raleigh. According to the NC Secretary of State, Edmisten is a registered lobbyist on behalf of nearly a dozen principals that include General Motors, LLC.

A spokesperson for Rouzer's campaign declined to comment Wednesday on White's criticism.

But Thursday, Rouzer's campaign sent an email news release that cited a 2011 Associated Press article reporting White had opened his own government relations business.

"Woody White is staking his campaign on attacking lobbyists, but neglects to tell voters he opened his own unsuccessful lobbying firm in 2011. It's the height of hypocrisy, but what else would you expect of a trial lawyer? The voters in the Seventh District deserve to know the truth," Jessica Wood, a spokesperson for the Rouzer campaign said in the release.

White responded to the Rouzer accusation in an email: "This is a distorted and false attempt by Washington lobbyist David Rouzer to divert attention away from what he is doing tonight; which is raising money from fellow lobbyists including democrat lobbyists. The truth: Woody White has never been a lobbyist. There is only one person who is or was a professional registered lobbyist in this race and he is holding a fundraiser tonight in Raleigh at the offices of democrat lobbyist Rufus Edmisten. Career politicians and lobbyist like David Rouzer and Rufus Edmisten want things in Washington to stay the same. They stick together. That is why there will be a room full of lobbyists at democrat Rufus Edmisten's office tonight in Raleigh supporting one of their own."

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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