Lawson under fire in North Coast congressional race

A virtual unknown when she joined the North Coast congressional race last year, Stacey Lawson presented herself as a successful businesswoman and educator bringing her experience to the political arena.

Now, with absentee ballots arriving on doorsteps and the June 5 primary election less than a month away, questions from other Democratic candidates about Lawson's business background and voting record are gaining prominence in the campaign.

That's due in part to a consensus on most issues among the eight Democrats competing for votes in a liberal district, amplified by the perception that three of them — Lawson, Susan Adams and Norman Solomon — are competing for second place behind Assemblyman Jared Huffman.

Under California's new top-two, open primary system, the two leading vote-getters, regardless of party, will move on to the November general election.

Two Democrats are likely to prevail in the primary, experts say, noting that two Republican candidates will split a minority portion of the vote.

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