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Solomon in controversy over Lawson mailer

Congressional candidate Norman Solomon says he stands by his campaign mailer critical of opponent Stacey Lawson, rejecting assertions that the two full-color fliers are hit pieces.

"What's important is that they were factual," Solomon said Thursday.

<NO1><NO>Lawson, a San Rafael businesswoman and political newcomer, fired back. <NO1><NO>

"If my opponents want to resort to distortions and lies then that is their choice," she said. "Only people in the lead get attacked and only those who are trailing attack."

Lawson declined to characterize Solomon's fliers, saying she would "leave that to others."

One of the mailers, citing Lawson's acknowledged failure to vote in eight of 12 elections from 2003-08, juxtaposes pictures of Lawson with former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and the fictional Pinocchio.

<NO1><NO>Whitman, a Republican who lost the 2010 gubernatorial race to Jerry Brown, had failed to vote for 28 years during her career as a business executive. She also spent $144 million of her own money on her campaign.

Lawson and Solomon are two of the 12 candidates in a wide-open race for the North Coast congressional seat, vacant due to Petaluma Rep. Lynn Woolsey's retirement.

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, is widely regarded as the frontrunner in Tuesday's primary election that will send the two top vote-getters to a November runoff.

Solomon said he considers himself and Lawson as the leading contenders for second place.


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