Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holy Days from Wayne's World!

This year has been most interesting and a true whirlwind: Lots of unexpected political and personal events in the 8th District, throughout North Carolina, and in the presidential contest. Of course, much more important for us than the Insurance Commissioner's race, Melanie and I were blessed by the birth of our son immediately before the primary election; and, Madison began first grade and has had a successful school year thus far.

The remaining days of the year will disappear quickly. And because we'll be busy with family and transition to the new post, here is our blog's seasonal greetings:

Wayne's World and the Goodwin Family wish everyone a safe, merry, and prosperous Christmas. May we all enjoy the happiness and peace and security we need and deserve, not just during these holy days of 2008 but on into the new year.
Pictured here, at the close of a recent holiday party, are: Melanie and Madison, with Jackson enjoying his evening dinner bottle while in his Dad's lap.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Post-Election Primer on the Successful Public Financing of the NC Insurance Commissioner race: Crossposted Interview with Wayne Goodwin

Betsy Muse, one of my BlueNC blogger friends, today posted her interview about my views on the public financing of my Insurance Commissioner campaign.

Reading it as objectively as I can when one is also the interviewee, her interview is certainly an informative piece about the pilot program and how it affected the 2008 Insurance Commissioner's race. To read it yourself and Betsy's on-target questions, merely click right here and you'll be magically transported to it.

Coincidentally, today editors of the Raleigh News & Observer published its primary editorial in support of public financing of political campaigns. In essence, they wrote that such programs are "proving their worth" and specifically cited how well the program functioned in the Insurance Commissioner's race. Read the full editorial by clicking this link here.

Your comments on this subject are welcome both at Wayne's World and at BlueNC.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Raleigh N&O, Greenville Reflector Endorse Goodwin; Candidate to Return to 8th District on Monday

In the waning days before Election 2008 comes to a close, the Goodwin for Insurance Commissioner campaign has received several more key newspaper endorsements.

The Raleigh News & Observer published its endorsement today. The link is here.

Several days ago the Greenville Reflector did the same. Read it here.

A sampling of additional newspapers that have endorsed the Goodwin campaign are here at this link.

The Democratic nominee for Insurance Commissioner returns to his home Congressional District - the Eighth - on Monday for Election Eve. Joining him will likely be several other candidates on the statewide ballot.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Goodwin Endorsements for NC Insurance Commissioner Mounting By the Day

Since receiving the "enthusiastic" endorsement of the Charlotte Observer recently, Insurance Commissioner candidate Wayne Goodwin has additional formal endorsements that have come his way.

The latest endorsements have come from the Greensboro News & Record, The Independent Weekly, the Winston-Salem Chronicle, the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the Spring Hope Enterprise, Bailey News, Raleigh-Wake County Association, the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, People's Alliance, and the NC Police Benevolent Association.

"I sincerely appreciate the endorsements by community organizations and media leaders. They each studied the backgrounds and proposals of the various candidates, and determined that I'm the only candidate for Insurance Commissioner with relevant experience for this very complex, very important job," said Wayne Goodwin.

Goodwin is the Democratic Party nominee for the office, and presently serves as Assistant Insurance Commissioner. To learn more about his candidacy and the complete list of endorsements from all over North Carolina, go to his website at

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodwin Momentum Continues: Maintains Lead in Polls

Public Policy Polling released its most recent Council of State polling results yesterday. You may link to them here at this link.

The bottom line: the Wayne Goodwin for Insurance Commissioner campaign has forward momentum at this key time in the election, presently with a 10 point lead with fewer than 19 days to go until November 4th.

One must remember, though, that a week - let alone 2-1/2 weeks - are a lifetime in politics. "I'm not letting my foot off the gas pedal until the polls close," said Goodwin.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Charlotte Observer Endorses Goodwin for NC Insurance Commissioner!

The Charlotte Observer "enthusiastically" endorsed Wayne Goodwin for NC Insurance Commissioner in yesterday's issue.

Specifically, it said:

Voters in the race for commissioner of insurance have a clear choice. ... [F]ormer state Rep. Wayne Goodwin, a lawyer. He has worked to improve public schools and workplace safety, and to reform the political process. He has performed well as assistant commissioner of insurance under the outgoing incumbent, Jim Long. Goodwin's understanding of the complicated insurance laws, his commitment to adequate regulation of insurance companies and his personal concern for firefighters and first responders overseen by the insurance department make him the better choice. The Observer enthusiastically recommends Wayne Goodwin for insurance commissioner.
The Observer also supported Goodwin during the primary election earlier this year.

In response, Goodwin said "I greatly appreciate the Charlotte Observer's endorsement for the general election. Its support is personally both humbling and inspiring at the same time. Working together with fellow North Carolinians, we will weather this economic storm and champion affordable insurance rates, a competitive insurance market, stable and competent leadership in the Insurance Commissioner's office, and consumer protection."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Eighth District's Goodwin Sees His Lead Grow for NC Insurance Commissioner in Two Independent Polls

The Eighth Congressional District's past chairman has taken his largest lead yet in the race for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner.

Wayne Goodwin sees the numbers as evidence of many months of hard work meeting at least 500 new voters a week and contacting thousands more weekly by mail, by email, and through surrogates. "Now is the time when all of my grassroots campaigning will start to bear fruit," he said. Goodwin is currently North Carolina's Assistant Insurance Commissioner and the Democratic Party candidate seeking to succeed incumbent Jim Long.

With less than 44 days until Election 2008 concludes, the trend in Statewide polling for this and other Council of State offices has been favorable for Democratic candidates. (For the poll summary from the pollster's related blog, go here.)

On that point, Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling said, "Incumbent Democrats and those in open seats, like (Treasurer candidate Janet) Cowell and (Wayne) Goodwin, should win comfortably."

Even the conservative Civitas poll showed Goodwin in the lead over John Odom, except the gap was even greater: That poll placed Democrat Wayne Goodwin ten points over the inexperienced Odom.

Goodwin isn't taking anything for granted, though. In fact, his schedule will "ramp up" this week and will continue at a frenetic pace through November 4th. "These poll numbers are a snapshot. To build on that snapshot I'm going to work even harder than before to show voters why I'm the only qualified candidate running for Insurance Commissioner," he said.

Observers from across the political spectrum - Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliated voters - say that there is just too much at stake with the complex job of Insurance Commissioner to allow any other candidate for Insurance Commissioner to prevail. These same observers point out that the Republican candidate owns three muffler shops and has no actual experience or knowledge of the office of Insurance Commissioner.

For more information about the campaign, go to

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fight Voter Fatigue and Promote Voter Education: Watch Video of Dem Council of State Candidates Today

All too often we hear about voters who vote for candidates appearing at the "top of the ticket" and forget to continue choosing from other Statewide candidates below Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General.

It is not unusual for at least 10% of voters to drop off, leaving many parts of their ballot unmarked.

While some folks blame voter fatigue, I believe just as many ignore the "down ballot" races because they do not know anything about these offices or the backgrounds - or just the names - of these candidates. (This is quite sad given the vital role the Council of State offices have in our daily lives.)

Living in the video age and as members of the MTV generation, the Democratic candidates for the North Carolina Council of State have prepared a video - for the first time ever - that will help address this problem head on.

The video provides very informative information about these Executive Branch offices up for election in 2008.

Please go to the accompanying YouTube link and watch this short video.

Then share it with everyone you know by email or download it for viewing by voters in your community. I recommend that you show it at community meetings, especially prior to and during the 2008 Early Vote period between October 16 and November 1.

This way you will have done your duty to fight ballot fatigue and promote voter education!

Eighth District, Young Dems Plan Caravan on Sept 6th

Be sure to mark your calendars -- Democrats will roll into and through and all over the Eighth Congressional District next Saturday, September 6th!

Here is the schedule:

North Carolina Young Democrats
8th District Bus Tour
Saturday, September 6

Come out and support our candidates and help change
North Carolina! Canvassing and Fellowship!

Scheduled Arrival Times and Stop Locations:

10:00 AM – Cumberland County*
Cumberland Democratic Headquarters 1712 Owen Drive, Fayetteville

11:15 PM – Hoke County*
Burlington Park, on Prospect Ave.,(right off Main Street) Raeford NC

12:10 PM - Scotland County *
Scotland Co HQ, 109 East Church Street Laurinburg NC

1:10 PM – Richmond County *
Rockingham Democratic HQ 201 East Washington St, Rockingham

2:00 PM – Anson County*
McDonalds 1114 East Caswell St, Wadesboro

2:50 PM – Union County *
Hill Top Restaurant 1602 East Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe

3:45 PM – Mecklenburg County *
Obama for Change HQ 1523 Elizabeth Ave, Charlotte

5:00 PM – Cabarrus County*
Cabarrus Democratic HQ 166 N. Church St, Concord

6:00 PM – Stanly County *Stanly - Albemarle Market Street Station - West Main Street, Albemarle Contact: Desi Shine for details at 704-991-6683 or

7:00 PM – Montgomery County
Kissell for Congress HQ 106 E. Main St, Biscoe

9:30 PM – Cumberland County Cumberland Democratic Headquarters 1712 Owen Drive, Fayetteville End of the Tour

*Priority stop
Join us for a day of activism! Volunteers will canvass at each location, spreading the word about our exciting Democratic ticket. For more information about the complete tour, contact: Zack Hawkins at

* * * * *
Congratulations, in advance, for the work by YDNC President Zach Hawkins and all the Young Dems who have diligently worked to make this key event happen!

Rising Star Report: Kudos to Eighth District's Phillip Gilfus!

We hear at Wayne's World believe in well-deserved "atta boys", and this one fits right into that mold.

Twenty-seven year old Phillip Gilfus of Cumberland County - and a fellow Eighth District Democrat - has been making some major waves lately.

Phillip, one of our young Iraq War veterans and presently attending Campbell University Law School, not only won a much-coveted and hotly contested race representing North Carolina on the Democratic National Committee but he also was the recent subject of an excellent column in the Raleigh News & Observer by longtime reporter Rob Christensen.

Additionally, Gilfus is a key leader within the Young Democrats of North Carolina.

He serves as the editor of the Campbell Law Observer, a publication that is regularly distributed to thousands of attorneys around the State and elsewhere.
Several weeks ago Phillip also authored an op-ed piece that appeared in the Fayetteville Observer-Times. (Gilfus appears on the left in the photo below.)

And, as if that were not enough to fill one's plate, he secured victory in another election during the May 2008 meeting of the Eighth Congressional District convention in Cabarrus County.

Gilfus is smart, tenacious, and a gifted young leader.

I recommend that Wayne's World readers watch Phillip Gilfus very, very closely. Why? Because I predict he is going places and will do great things in the name of public service!

GOP Insurance Commissioner Candidate Upsets NC Firefighters

Eighth Congressional District Democrats and other readers of the Wayne's World blog should find the following post of interest because it impacts the 2008 elections in a major way.



Last week in Winston-Salem the NC State Firemen’s Association held its 121st annual conference in tandem with the 76th annual meeting of the NC State Fire Chiefs Association.

As part of his actual job, Wayne Goodwin presented a Department of Insurance (Office of State Fire Marshal) update. Goodwin’s brief update was strictly to be about department legislation and official OSFM matters, and he was to be introduced only in his current role.

However, leaders of the NC State Firemen’s Association reported that immediately before the Winston-Salem program began they received an intense call from the campaign of John Odom, Republican candidate for Insurance Commissioner. Odom demanded “equal time” as Goodwin. When told that the conference was non-political and that Goodwin was only there as part of his State job (as he had for years), Odom’s campaign refused to back down. The Association granted him a few minutes to speak to the joint conference as a result.

According to firefighters and fire chiefs in attendance, the Odom campaign’s rudeness and unacceptable politicizing of the conference are considered major errors on Odom’s part. From many reports Odom actually cost himself significant votes by forcing himself into the non-political meeting.

Consequently, Odom gave his opponent, Wayne Goodwin, an even bigger boost from firefighters statewide.

“I believe Republican John Odom owes the firefighters and fire chiefs of North Carolina a huge apology,” said Wayne Goodwin. “Our hometown heroes deserve respect, and the Odom campaign’s actions during this conference are unacceptable,” said Goodwin. Goodwin is the Democratic candidate for Insurance Commissioner and currently the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance and Assistant State Fire Marshal.

Goodwin has been individually endorsed for Insurance Commissioner by Paul Miller, Executive Director of the NC State Firemen’s Association; and many firefighters and fire chiefs across North Carolina.

# # #
As folks used to say in Latin, res ipsa loquitur, which means the above "speaks for itself." Eighth Congressional District and all NC voters are encouraged to visit for more information about the Goodwin campaign for Insurance Commissioner.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

State Employees Endorse Wayne Goodwin for NC Insurance Commissioner

The Employees Political Action Committee (EMPAC) of the State Employees Association of North Carolina endorsed Wayne Goodwin to be North Carolina's next Insurance Commissioner.

"We're thrilled to support candidates who support the state's working families and the retirees who dedicated their careers to serving North Carolina's citizens," said SEANC President Linda Rouse Sutton.

Goodwin was excited by the endorsement.

"As a fellow State employee, I am honored and humbled to have the strong support of our State Employees Association of North Carolina," said Wayne Goodwin.

"I have spent my life championing the cause of working families and protecting consumers. My lifetime of working on issues that matter to our state employees - and my work already as Assistant Insurance Commissioner - make me the best and only qualified choice for Insurance Commissioner," he said. "SEANC's endorsement is greatly appreciated. I will never let down our State employees."

SEANC has more than 55,000 members.

Electing Council of State is the Right Thing to Do

With all due respect to my many good friends who may have a different view, in this day and age it is all the more vital that North Carolina continues to elect certain Council of State offices, if not all of them, as they are presently constituted.

Some well-intentioned opponents have stated that our Statewide ballot is too long. These same folks promote the concept of shortening the ballot; in other words, taking voters out of the equation and making most of the Council of State offices appointed rather than popularly elected. Of course, that conclusion does not appear to fit with the original premise prompting recent proposals – which was that it is a sad situation when such a low number of voters turned out for the 2008 runoff election for Labor Commissioner and at the cost of $5 million.

For the moment let's skip that original premise and go straight to what I perceive is the crux of my argument.

Why do I believe that we should maintain the election of our Council of State officers?

First, as I am wont to do, let's take a look back at history. Eighteenth century North Carolinians rejected the horrid treatment by the Royal governors from our pre-Revolutionary War days, and decided from that point forward, and moreso later in the 19th century, that never again would we allow a Governor to have unchecked, consolidated, unitary power. Tar Heel leaders then and through the present decided to apportion the authority of various State agencies among elected officials charged with leading their respective agency. Those officers include Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and Insurance Commissioner. In addition to serving as an agency head, these officers serve an additional Executive Branch role as members of the Council of State, deciding matters pertaining to State property and the like, and advising the Governor on various and sundry things. The theory – and the practice – was that democratization of State power would keep authority in check and protect the inalienable rights of our citizens. And it would preclude the rise of a dictatorial governor in the State. (Furthermore, one must also note how long it took our Governor to gain the right to veto legislation, again for the same historical reasons.) Tinkering with the current format would upset the balance among the three branches of government, and ultimately give any Governor too much authority. In my opinion, history bears out that North Carolina has done what was best for its people with the current formulation.

Second, why is appointment of all or most Council of State officials a bad idea? In addition to it being contrary to the direction of our State's Founding Fathers, appointment would mean one thing and one thing alone: an insider – a person wed and fed by the entities regulated by the agency – would be appointed. For example, if our Insurance Commissioner were an appointed position in North Carolina, then I'd bet my lunch from now until the Winter Olympics come to Fuquay-Varina that any future Governor would appoint – read "award" – an insurance industry insider with the post. Now don't get me wrong: Such an appointment is not illegal; it just smacks of cronyism and rewarding special interests who have most likely contributed heavily to the campaign of such hypothetical Governor. The power of special interests would be an overwhelming factor for any Governor as he or she considers whom to appoint to current Council of State positions. Appointment of these offices is a bad idea because it strips away the independence of these officials and almost certainly assures that in fact or in perception these officials will be beholden to some group other than the people at large.

Third, there is the issue of continuity. Think about it: Presently the people of North Carolina elect the Council of State and, if an official is doing a moderately good job, the voters re-elect that official. In the appointment process there will almost necessarily be a change in officials every four to eight years, and a change in the focus of the respective agency, depending upon if a Governor is re-elected or not. The great benefits we have had in continuity of leadership in the Department of Agriculture under the late Jim Graham, or in the Department of Insurance under Jim Long, or in the Secretary of State's office under Elaine Marshall, would never be. Making these offices appointed also means that a Governor could fire them at will, even if that officer is doing a great job and perhaps pointing out waste, fraud or errors in that Governor's administration.

One corollary to the issue of continuity is this: If Council of State offices are appointed instead of elected, and their tenure might be six months to eight years only (if that), then the unelected Department staff becomes all the more powerful. That would appear anathema to a representative democracy where we prefer having officials whom are accountable at the ballot box.

And even if you do have continuity in these offices among one or more Governors, do you think these officials – if appointed – would be free and independent to criticize another Department or the Governor's own administration, even if there is potential wrongdoing? Human nature is that appointed officials in this hypothetical scenario will be less likely to bite the hand that feeds them.

Fourth, would not conversion of these offices from elected posts to purely appointed posts essentially mean that the State is afraid of and not trusting of the people, and their power at the ballot box?

Fifth, some commentators have time and again stated that Tar Heel voters allegedly do not know enough about candidates to vote intelligently for these offices and, accordingly, the people should then have taken away from them the power to choose the holders of these offices. No matter how many voters do or do not turn out at the polls, or how many fail to vote further down the ballot in a given election, without question today's voters have much greater access to information about every candidate and the jurisdiction of the respective offices than ever before. We should not excise - we should not remove - the right to vote for these leaders just because some voters – even many of them – fail to use available resources to research the backgrounds and platforms of the respective candidates. Should we contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy by declaring that voters are dumb when, in fact, a large number are, at worst, either lazy or too busy with their lives and trying to make ends meet instead of studying up on candidates appearing on their ballot? Clearly I posit that the answer is "no." I respectfully contend that every voter should consider it her civic obligation to prepare before voting.

Now let's zero in for the moment on the office of Insurance Commissioner as part of this conversation.

Because every person, every family, every business, and every government is affected by the question of, the presence of, or the lack of insurance, as well as affordability of insurance, the ability to elect the Insurance Commissioner is all the more vital versus mere appointment.

In 2008, and for the foreseeable future, the Insurance Commissioner will conduct hearings that determine the ultimate maximum rate for automobile insurance for North Carolina drivers. The same Commissioner will necessarily be involved with the effort to address homeowners insurance on the coast, both its affordability and the presence of a competitive market. The Commissioner will also have an actual and a bully pulpit role on the question of health insurance. Do we truly want an UNELECTED official who is NOT independent of special interests serving as Insurance Commissioner as these duties are discharged? Is not it in our best interests to have an Insurance Commissioner that is behold to no one but the voters – the people – of North Carolina?

Again examining the question, in North Carolina any effort to appoint the Insurance Commissioner is dangerous, and would have many more negative effects for people and businesses alike than positive ones, most notably the almost certainty of higher insurance rates. Why might an appointed Insurance Commissioner allow rates to increase faster and/or higher? Because in that scenario she or he would not be checked by the voters but will act with carte blanche by responding to the special interests so long as it is within existing law.

So, in returning to the original problem, it would be the proverbial "throwing away the baby with the bathwater" if the proposed remedy to meager participation in runoff elections is removal of elections from the process. In North Carolina we believe in a strong representative democracy and in decentralized authority. To believe otherwise is to distrust the people and I, for one, trust an enlightened electorate every day over backroom appointments at the urging of special interests..

By promoting the abolition of elections for most Council of State offices, have not those persons fallen for what the special interests actually want – that is, hand-picked officials not beholden to the people?

In my opinion, the remedy is for the news media to join with me and countless non-profit organizations whose mission is voter education.

Let's promote both civic participation at the polls and representative democracy, and not consolidation of power in one elected office by abolishing election of Council of State officials. Voter education and voter empowerment would be the right way – the Carolina way, the Jeffersonian way, and the American way – to solve the problem at hand. In this instance, electing our Council of State must remain.

# # #

Stanly County Welcomes Bev Perdue, North Carolina's Next Governor

On Thursday night, July 31st, I had the honor and privilege to join a diverse group of North Carolinians supporting Bev Perdue for Governor of North Carolina as she visited Stanly County.

No fewer than 200 folks - not just Democrats by the way - all convened at Bill Mullinix's pastoral farm off of U.S. Highway 52 between Albemarle and Richfield.

Lt. Governor Perdue wowed the crowd, but that's no surprise. She reminded all of us of her work on advances in education, keeping our military bases, and fighting for progress in our great State during her many years of service in the General Assembly and as Lt. Governor. Everyone agreed that Bev Perdue has the tenacity, the toughness, and the skills to be North Carolina's next great Governor. She can go toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball with anyone she needs to in order to do what is best.

Senator Bill Purcell introduced the Lt. Governor.

Other officials in attendance included:

State Rep. Pryor Gibson
County Commissioner Sherrill Smith
Former U.S. Marshal Becky Wallace
Superior Court Judge Susan Taylor
Chief District Court Judge Tanya Wallace
District Court Judge Kevin Bridges
Former State Senator Aaron Plyler

And, yes, candidates turned out in full force as well. Some of them were:

Wayne Goodwin, NC Insurance Commissioner candidate
Larry Kissell, 8th District, U.S. Congress
Amy Wilson, candidate for District Court judge
Charles Collini, candidate for Superior Court judge
John Daniel, candidate for District Court judge

Many area business leaders co-sponsored the successful fundraiser, along with local officials in government and education.

I fully expected the usual band of yellow-dog Democrats from the central 8th District to attend this Bev Perdue fundraiser. And they did. (They hailed from Stanly, Richmond, Union, and Montgomery counties.) But what is most telling is that there were a good number of Republicans in attendance, some of whom were hosts and helped with the fundraising. Having significant crossover from across the partisan aisle is an essential element for Statewide victory in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, from a highly reliable source I learned that the Perdue campaign raised at least $60,000 from this one event on Thursday night.

I don't know about you, but that's a lot of money for those of us growing up on a farm!

Notwithstanding, that sum shows the extent of this region's commitment to a Perdue administration.

Wayne's World predicts that Perdue will win the 8th Congressional District counties by handsome margins in November, and will be our next Tar Heel Governor.

Richmond County Democratic Party Opens New HQ: Getting Ready to Rumble with the Republicans

Richmond County Democrats have opened up their 2008 campaign headquarters in downtown Rockingham at 200 East Washington Street. I commend the officers for their selection: Not only is the HQ in the middle of town, but it is prominently located adjacent to the stoplight where everyone on U.S. Highway 1 must turn if they choose to continue going south. The building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was once where the long ago Pee Dee Bank did its business.

Many dignitaries and party activists gathered for the ribbon-cutting and subsequent hot dog lunch.

Several weeks after the opening, Kay Hagan - the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate - dropped by to visit with well-wishers and supporters.

Other Democratic candidates and voters are encouraged to drop by during office hours to visit with local activists or pick up materials.

I predict that Richmond County Democrats will be using their HQ quite often in the coming months, and I also predict a joyous celebration on Election Day come this November.

Wayne's World Returns (Again)

Blogging has taken a backseat to my many hats as of late. But now Wayne's World is back!

Since my last posting in late June, I have continued to criss-cross the State in my campaign-mobile, going where ever 2 or 3 folks - voters, of course - are gathered to share the good news about my race for Insurance Commissioner. (There are many more miles to cover, my friends, and I'll try to keep you better posted along the way!)

Other items keeping me busy since late June are my dutiful work as Assistant Commissioner of Insurance for the State of North Carolina ... and, most important of all, being "Dad" to my two kids. Jackson is now three months old. And, bless his heart, he started sleeping the whole night through last weekend. What a joy that was to dear old Mom and Dad. Meanwhile, Madison has been finalizing her summer at Arts Camp, concluding what has been a grand summer for her. And, last but not least, the legislature recently adjourned so Melanie's schedule is now more flexible.

So hang on: Let the blogging resume!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Remember to Vote on Tuesday: Labor Commissioner Run-off

On Tuesday, you will have your chance to greatly affect the state Democratic Party's ticket.

Why and how?

Simply, with the run-off election for NC Labor Commissioner on Tuesday, June 24th, and the infinitesmally small turnout we are destined to have, ONE VOTE - your vote - will have much greater weight than it ever would have had before for this office.

In what I personally estimate may be a statewide turnout of only 0.5% (maybe 1% max), Democrats will have their choice between two highly capable and interesting candidates:

John Brooks
Mary Fant Donnan

I encourage you to use the above link to their websites to learn more about them and ... most importantly of all ... remember to go vote on Tuesday, if you haven't already taken advantage of the early vote period.

With such a small voter turnout, a small blip in extra voters here and there in any county will have a tidal wave effect in the ultimate outcome. That is why those few areas where other run-off elections are occurring have become "Ground Zero" for the Labor Commissioner race. Among those areas are Sen. John Kerr's Senate district, Durham County, northeastern NC, Stanly County, Montgomery County, and Yancey County.

Regardless of how little or great the turnout is, on Tuesday night we will know which of our candidates is OUR Democratic nominee. (I also predict that we'll know the Statewide winner within 30 minutes of polls closing.)

And we will know which of our candidates will duly lead the charge in 2008 toward re-claiming the Labor Commissioner post for the working people, the small businesses, and the forward-thinking citizens of our great State.

State Dems Gather in New Bern: Eighth District's Prominent Role

As North Carolina's Democrats gather in New Bern today for the 2008 convention, it is worth noting the prominent role that the Eighth Congressional District and its delegates will have.

First of all, everyone will cheer on the Everyman of Democratic candidates for Congress: Larry Kissell of Biscoe. He is ahead in the polls, he has a stellar team, and he's got "the Big Mo" that winning grassroots campaigns must have. Expect the 1,000+ Dems in New Bern to chant his name with the hopes, intensity and fervor for every voter back west in the 8th to hear it and vote accordingly!

Second, we have a significant number of African-American Democrats, young Democrats, and disaffected rural Democrats in the Eighth District who are feeling an excitement comparable to none before: They see the incredible organizational skills of Senator Barack Obama's team touching communities that have heretofor never seen a presidential race. I still can't believe that even in my hometown of Hamlet - of all places - there was an Obama field office! A strong turnount of Dems in the Eighth will lift the fortunes of EVERY Democrat on the ballot (including yours truly), so a super-jazzed, uber-exhilarated Eighth is the key to victory, in my opinion.

Third, the Eighth is home to a fantastic array of candidates and officials who are carrying the banner high for the party and for the best interests of our region. Besides the previously mentioned Kissell, we have:

State Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin (first on my list for many reasons!)
State Rep. Tricia Cotham (whose fiance, Jerry Meek, is NCDP Chairman and a future 8th District resident)
State Sen. Dan Clodfelter
State Rep. Garland Pierce
State Rep. Pryor Gibson
State Rep. Doug Yongue
State Sen. Bill Purcell
State Rep. Rick Glazier
NCDP First Vice Chairwoman Dannie Montgomery
Monroe Mayor Pro Tem Phil E. Bazemore
Walter Rogers of the 8th District Black Caucus
Anthony Copeland, also of the Black Caucus
Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin
Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler
Richmond County Sheriff Dale Furr
Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen
Stanly County Commissioner Sherrill Smith
Judge Tanya Wallace
Judge Kevin Bridges
Judge Tripp Helms
Almeta Armstrong, Montgomery County School Board

the many active Democrats from the 8th who are going to Denver as national delegates;
Wayne Goodwin, Democratic Party nominee for NC Insurance Commissioner

... and the list could go on, and on, and on!

So as Democrats gather to rally for this weekend's State Convention, and with all the firepower that we have in our Congressional district, do expect the 8th to be upfront and outfront in leading the charge for victory in November!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wayne Goodwin's Insurance Commissioner Campaign Receives Contributions from Alamance to Yancey: Certified as Publicly-Financed Candidate

Goodwin Leads Republican in Recent Statewide Poll

In the pilot public financing program for Council of State offices, the State Board of Elections has certified that Wayne Goodwin has met the qualifications for public financing as the Democratic Party's nominee.

With only eight weeks to accomplish the feat, the Goodwin campaign secured small-dollar, qualifying contributions of $10 to $200 from approximately 1,200 registered voters from Alamance to Yancey Counties. He also refused both contributions from out-of-state and PAC contributions.

Goodwin blew the minimum threshold in contributors and money raised "out of the water." The 2007 Voter-Owned Elections program required only 750 registered voters. Goodwin is estimated to have raised approximately three times the amount of the minimum monetary threshold.

"I am also pleased to report that a significant number of Republican and Unaffiliated voters also contributed to my campaign, in addition to the majority of Democrats. In their comments these voters all across the political spectrum stated loud and clear that North Carolina's next Insurance Commissioner must have the competence and the experience to serve in the office," said Goodwin.

Dick Barnes, campaign manager for the Goodwin campaign and a former State Senator, had this to say: "This strong show of support is further proof that Wayne Goodwin, already leading in the polls, is in the best position to win in November and to serve the best interests of every consumer and every small business in North Carolina."

He also asserted that when it comes to who is most competent and experienced to serve as Insurance Commissioner, Democratic Party nominee Wayne Goodwin beats the Republican nominee "hands down."

"Only Wayne Goodwin has a proven record of fighting to keep insurance rates low, reasonable, and fair," says Barnes. "Goodwin is also the only candidate who will continue the progress of legendary Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, who saved $4.3 Billion for consumers. Jim Long, by the way, has strongly endorsed Goodwin from Day One."

Goodwin was the first Insurance Commissioner candidate to refuse money from special interests. He will spend the rest of the 2008 campaign only meeting with and listening to North Carolina voters, and not fundraising.

# # #

Moses Wasn't the Only One to Spend Forty Years in the Desert: The Historic Passion of Today's Voters

As happens occasionally with me, I will take off my hat as candidate and speak as an observer of the political process.

Though what I am about to say applies to the 8th Congressional District, it applies just as equally across North Carolina.

Here goes:

This election cycle has the most fervent, most passionate political activists in 40 years.

Perhaps it is mere coincidence that 40 years matches the time period oft-relied upon in the Bible to signify “a long time,” but I respectfully contend that America – including North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District – has returned from a 40-year hiatus in the political desert.

And this political passion is not all among Democrats.

Yes, the vast majority of the fervor has been due to the historic candidacies of Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Yes, that energy is also due in great part to the almost universal animus toward the presidency of George W. Bush and his failed policies from stem to stern.

But the group of politically passionate persons also includes a personally surprising legion of folks committed to the campaign of Republican Ron Paul for President.

On that latter point: Even though there is a greater chance of Donald Trump getting a crew cut than Ron Paul being elected President, I witnessed a rather remarkable showing of support for the Republican Congressman and former Libertarian Party standard-bearer from the 1980s. Traveling the State I saw Ron Paul signs pop up like dandelions across the yards and highway medians of North Carolina. I personally witnessed previously-nonpolitical folks holding placards as persons visited their post offices and grocery stores. I saw Paul signs show up in the darndest places, almost as if campaign elves had dropped the signs and literature in the most obscure places. We all saw at one time or another the banners or graffiti which magically appeared on overpasses and bridges, extolling the Paul candidacy. And who could forget the creative use of the signs about a “Ron Paul Revolution” but which had the “evol” part appearing backwards so the operative word for passersby was “LOVE”?

Regardless, Ron Paul will not now nor will he ever be President of the United States.
Yet he somehow spawned a host of fans. And they were everywhere. (And apparently still are, by virtue of the renewed presence of his supporters’ work across North Carolina months after Paul had any statistical chance of winning even one GOP delegate in the State.)

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has regularly attracted amazing crowds of 25,000 to 70,000 people to campaign rallies and events. When one realizes that he magnetically attracts more people at one place than many major league baseball parks have in any given ballgame, it goes to show that there is something special going on.
When one also analyzes the numbers objectively – the massive increase in voter registration and voter turnout, especially among Democrats and Unaffiiateds who support the Democratic Party’s focus on “change” – it is clear that something special is going on.

With 1968 as a backdrop, it is truly exciting to be part of this historic moment – to be part of that “something special” that is going on.

Perhaps we Americans can now look forward to reaching the political Promised Land of our forefathers, one where a vibrant body politick exercises by word, deed, and ballot what “The People” want and need in our government … choosing the “better angels of our nature” to guide us, and not prejudices and nearsightedness.

Let’s hope that voters make the right choices in November so we won’t find ourselves in the political desert again in my lifetime. Forty years is a long time between political movements.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goodwin Criss-Crosses State After Winning Insurance Commissioner Nomination

Not quite four weeks have passed since Wayne Goodwin captured the Democratic Party’s nomination for Insurance Commissioner.

Bolstered by his strong showing at the polls, Goodwin has visited and met with voters in more than 20 counties just since May 6 alone. These visits are in addition to those in 80 counties before his primary victory.

During his trek around North Carolina over the time period, one of his stops was with Democratic leaders in Beaufort County.

Another was in Cherokee County, making this his second stop in Murphy during his campaign.

“You often hear statewide candidates say they’re campaigning from Manteo to Murphy. Well, I’m here to tell you that my campaign is not just saying that; for me, it is a fact,” said Goodwin. “I am taking this election for Insurance Commissioner to every corner of the State – and back again - because they need to know how important this election for Insurance Commissioner is and how my qualifications are light-years ahead of my general election opponent.”

Statewide polling after the May 2008 primary election shows Goodwin well ahead of his general election opponent in a head-to-head matchup.

“Our next Insurance Commissioner must be someone with a proven record of fighting to keep insurance rates low, reasonable and fair, and of ensuring a competitive insurance market so consumers have a choice among financially solvent insurance companies in North Carolina,” said Goodwin. “It is crystal clear as I criss-cross this State that voters want – demand – an Insurance Commissioner with the competence and experience necessary to serve in this office.”

Goodwin will continue his campaign in both eastern and western North Carolina in the months ahead.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eighth District Convention Rocks, Rolls Onward to Fall Victory

Eighth District Democrats parachuted (an apropos verb for the district that’s home to Fort Bragg) into Cabarrus County for the district’s annual convention this past weekend.

What heralded this convention – which historically is exciting and well-attended anyway – was the extra-palpable infusion of energy and zest: Delegates from ten counties applauded every word emanating from local and statewide candidates, underscoring their enthusiasm for what should be – by every measure – a victorious year for Democrats.

To get things started, District First Vice Chair June Mabry welcomed everyone. We also received words of encouragement from the Mayor of Concord, Scott Padgett.

I extend my particular appreciation to June Mabry heading into this convention because she helped lead the executive committee in my absence. As folks may recall, at the time I was thrust into the race for NC Insurance Commissioner on February 29th I was serving as Chairman of the 8th District. In keeping with the Plan of Organization, I temporarily stepped aside from the chairmanship during the pendency of the primary challenge I had. By action of the convention on May 17, the district voted to allow my resumption of and completion of my term as chairman.

Meanwhile, most certainly due a tremendous round of applause are the district hosts: the Cabarrus County Democratic Party. County chair Wendy Wood, Dr. Grace Liem, and their many colleagues helped turn Troutman’s BBQ Restaurant into a terrific convention hall. (The convention continues my theory that any successful political event in North Carolina merely needs a tincture of BBQ, chicken, hushpuppies, banana pudding and sweet tea to be successful.)

We also received inspiring words from a number of candidates. Among them were: State Sen. Kay Hagan, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate against Liddy Dole; Agriculture Commissioner candidate Ronnie Ansley; Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand; District Court Judge Kristin Ruth and Utilities Commissioner Jimmy Ervin, candidates for NC Court of Appeals; and the Eighth District’s next U.S. Congressman, Larry Kissell.

As the Democratic Party’s nominee for NC Insurance Commissioner I also offered some insights. Everyone agreed that North Carolinians cannot afford a Republican Insurance Commissioner, particularly when that Republican candidate is someone who has pledged to change Jim Long’s Department of Insurance and its focus on consumer protection. Receiving the most applause from my remarks was acknowledgement of my wife, State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, and our newborn son, Jackson.

State Representatives Doug Yongue, Pryor Gibson, and Rick Glazier joined Sen. William Purcell in attendance as well.

I also commend the dedication, sincerity, enthusiasm, and politeness of all the folks seeking to become delegates for both the Obama and Clinton camps. In all my years as a Democratic activist never have I seen such explosion of interest for a presidential race. This all bodes very well for us in November, not to mention the tidal wave of newly-registered voters in all categories, most particularly in the under-30 age bracket. (Also of note: When asked to self-identify at the district convention, approximately 5-10% of those district delegates in attendance were completely NEW to the political process!)

After concluding the other business of the district, Democrats spent the next two hours winnowing the large array of national convention delegate candidates down to our selections. Kudos to Rand, Rep. Rick Glazier, Wendy Wood, and June Mabry for helping the crowd of 300 folks navigate through the maze of delegate selection rules.

With the plan of re-uniting for the State Convention on June 21 in New Bern and with the intent of rotating around the district in the years to come, the assembled Democrats wisely decided to hold its 2009 district gathering in Cumberland County.

All in all, the Eighth Congressional District Convention held steadfast to its theme for 2008: Teamwork to Make the Dream Work.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thank you to everyone on the Goodwin Team in my campaign for NC Insurance Commissioner!

Mere words cannot fully express my deep felt appreciation for your vital efforts in my Insurance Commissioner campaign!

In a very short period of time we were able to stress how the 2008 Democratic Primary was a stark choice between polar opposite candidates. I am:

- the candidate who will work day in and day out to maintain the legacy of Jim Long ... always striving to protect the consumer while ensuring a competitive insurance market that allows insurance companies a reasonable profit.

- the candidate with proven experience leading within the Department of Insurance and with extensive experience as a State-level elected official.

- the candidate who understands that the Insurance Commissioner and the Department have a special relationship with the State's 44,000 fire and rescue personnel.


- the candidate who has clean hands, truly independent and free from the insurance industry and other special interests.

And with your personal role in my campaign, we were able to get out that message above and win 56% of the Statewide vote!

By all accounts, we surprised folks with the depth, breadth, and diversity of not only the endorsements of this campaign but, more importantly, of our campaign team. This campaign team was very blessed to have many, many persons chipping in to post signs, speak as surrogates, deliver materials, coordinate multiple mailings, and successfully conduct a multitude of in-person meetings with key leaders in the State.

With your help I was also able to surpass the mandatory minimum thresholds for public financing – both by comfortable buffers or margins. Given the short period of time between when I learned of my candidacy and the May 6th election, I was joyfully amazed with the sheer volume of work so many of you did to interest folks in making "qualifying" contributions pursuant the pilot public financing program. It was no easy task, but with every one doing their part this campaign was the first to meet the thresholds.

I could go on further, but do know this: Working together, we will duplicate our success in the November election and prove to the State that our best years are still yet to come.

Again, thank you for everything you did to make our team's victory happen!

- Wayne

P.S. I would have posted very late on Election Night or even yesterday, but my obligation to take care of my 5-day-old newborn son, Jackson Wade Goodwin, and my wife, Melanie, took highest priority. I'm sure you understand! Attached to this message are two photos of North Carolina's newest Democrat (and one not-so-new Democrat)! ... I hope that everyone who checked in here at "Wayne's World" - a massive, record number for hits to this site, by the way - will have the opportunity to check back in for this post of appreciation.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wayne Goodwin Lead Grows in State Poll for Insurance Commissioner

My campaign for NC Insurance Commissioner was very pleased with this week's poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP).

Specifically, the poll results indicate that my campaign has its largest lead yet over my Democratic primary challenger. Presently I serve as the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance and a former legislator; the challenger is the president-elect of the NC Association of Health Insurance Underwriters.

Even more important are the following:

My campaign apparently led in every cross-tab category but one, and in that one I trailed very marginally.

And, among early voters, I had a commanding lead of approximately 20 percentage points. According to PPP, this indicates that when voters have a chance to examine the backgrounds of the Insurance Commissioner candidates that they choose my candidacy.

Notwithstanding these numbers, my campaign team is still very, very busy as the final hours tick down towards the primary election.

Please share with your colleagues, friends and family the urgent message that their vote for Insurance Commissioner will determine whether the consumer protection legacy of Insurance Commissioner Jim Long continues ... or whether it dies on the vine.

Let's keep consumer protection a number one priority for the Department of Insurance.

Vote Wayne Goodwin for NC Insurance Commissioner!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wayne's World Welcomes Jackson Goodwin to the World!

For loyal - or occasional - readers of "Wayne's World," you are probably aware that we have been expecting our second child.

Well, in what I had hoped would be a scoop for this blog but which has been beaten to the punch by WUNC (the local NPR affiliate) and WPTF Radio, I am pleased to announce the following:

Shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 2nd, my wife and I were delighted to find out that Baby #2 was here and healthy. (This made Melanie the very first State legislator in NC history to deliver a baby while in office.)

And, as discussed in a prior blog entry , we have named him Jackson Wade Goodwin.

Why "Jackson"? After President Andrew Jackson, of course! (Our daughter is named "Madison" after - you guessed it - James Madison.)

Though you may think our son's name is a fluke, there is actually genealogy and history on our side. I was born on George Washington's birthday and my first name is George. My grandfather was Woodrow Wilson Goodwin, and his grandfather was James Madison Goodwin. I have a great-great uncle named Thomas Jefferson Adams. Plus, my sister recently named her son Carter. And this is the short list. We apparently enjoy naming our progeny after Presidents. Not being to speak for other family members before me, I have employed the practice because it is my belief that a good strong name has an effect on the child's psyche, personality, and life activities. And I do so in homage to American history and our Democratic Party's leaders.

Coincidentally, our "Young Hickory" (a play on Andy Jackson's nickname of "Old Hickory", and the same nickname as President James K. Polk, a Tar Heel native) was born on the same day as the 2008 North Carolina Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.

Welcome, Jackson, to our wonderful world!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

8th District's Rep. Melanie Goodwin, Sen. Purcell Make Significant Gain in Effectiveness

Entitled "Local Leader Climbs in Poll", the April 10th issue of the Richmond County Daily Journal says, in part:

Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin (D-Hamlet) made the biggest leap in effectiveness out of all of the members of the North Carolina House of Representatives, based on a poll released this month.

The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research Inc. showed Goodwin vaulted from 73rd in 2005 to 31st this year — a difference of 42 places. The only lawmaker to come close was Rep. Grier Martin (D-Wake) who went up 38 spots. He was ranked 68th in 2005 and is now ranked 30th.

Goodwin is serving her second term in the house. She is a member of the appropriations committee and chairman of the election law and vice chairman of the Judiciary I committee. She also serves as a member of six other committees.

“It’s an honor,” Goodwin said of the ranking. “I can say with every passing day I learn something new as a lawmaker. I’m learning how to get things done for my constituents and for general citizens. A lot of what I’ve learned is that getting legislation passed is all about the personal relationships you have with your colleagues. I’ve worked very hard to establish relationships not just in my party, but with members across the aisle so we can pass good laws for our citizens.”

It’s been a challenge for me, but I feel like it was the right time and I’ve enjoyed it tremendously,” Goodwin said.

To read the full article, then go to the following link:

It mentions Sen. Purcell and Rep. Goodwin, as well as Rep. Grier Martin, Speaker Joe Hackney, and others.

We are very proud of two of the Eighth District's best state legislators!

And, of course, I am most proud of Melanie. She has not only served 2 terms in the legislature (and is ready for her 3rd), but has done it with amazing grace, competence, hard work, and style. Plus, our 2nd child is expected to be born in 3 weeks ... and she is s-o-o-o much a better legislator (and better looking) than her predecessor. :) Congratulations!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Want a Sneak Preview of Wayne Goodwin's Campaign Ad for Insurance Commissioner?

Then all you have to do is visit my website, and click on the link that says "Watch Wayne's New TV Ad!"
Afterward, let me know what you think about it.

And while you're there on the campaign website, be sure to read why I believe I'm your best choice for Insurance Commissioner of North Carolina in 2008 ... as well as how broad and deep my support is around the State.

My endorsements include Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, the NC Association of Educators (NCAE), NC State AFL-CIO, the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham mayor Bill Bell, leaders of the NC State Firemen's Association and NC Rescue and EMS Association, Hoke County Firefighters, the Richmond County Daily Journal, NC Academy of Trial Lawyers, and countless legislators, local officials, firefighters, first responders, small business owners, etc. ... And then there are the 500+ individuals who have already donated small-dollar qualifying contributions of $10 or more as part of my decision to be a publicly-financed candidate! (I need just a handful more to cross the statutory threshold, so fans of “Wayne’s World”: I need your help ...)

If you're interested in how you can further help me become our next Insurance Commissioner of North Carolina, then please email me directly at

Meanwhile, your contribution of only between $10 and $200 does two essential things: It will help ensure that my TV ad runs as much as possible on TV across the State and that I qualify for public funding for the General Election. If you'd like to help me with this specific task, then send your personal check or money order to The Goodwin Committee, P.O. Box 1654, Hamlet NC 28345 TODAY. Put "TV ad" on the memo section of your check.

And above all else, remember that I ask for your vote and for your support in the 2008 Democratic primary election. I'm counting on a strong 8th District turnout to win!

Thank you!

- Wayne

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wayne's World Returns!

Yes, Wayne's World has been on a short hiatus as the rigors of campaigning across the State have taken their toll on all available time. (By the way, did you know that there is a small stretch of North Carolina actually west of Murphy, North Carolina? Yes, it's true. And I've campaigned there, right up and on the NC-TN line. Stay tuned for a later blog post with feature photo of me pointing to a sign that reads "Manteo: 563 miles".)

Over the last several weeks, in and around the 8th Congressional District there have been visits by former President Bill Clinton (at least 3 times by my count) and Sen. Barack Obama.

We've also seen a deluge of visits by more and more of the statewide campaigns, doing their best to grasp for the remaining air not sucked out by the presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, today I received an updated spreadsheet detailing the new voter registrations all across North Carolina. The 8th District is looking really good, in my opinion (though I wish Union County's Rs were not as prevalent).

And, coming up just 2 weeks from today are the Democratic county conventions in all 100 Tar Heel counties.

With early voting slated to commence April 17, I believe it's more than fair to say the downpour of candidates from federal to local offices in the 8th Congressional District this month will bring to a quick halt what had been a drought - at least of the political variety!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

NC State AFL-CIO Unanimously Endorses Wayne Goodwin in Democratic Party primary for Insurance Commissioner

After considering detailed answers to questions and topics posed by its members, and then inviting him in for a personal interview before approximately 50 representatives from all across the Tar Heel state, the Committee on Political Education (COPE) of the NC State AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed Wayne Goodwin on Thursday in the Democratic primary for Insurance Commissioner.

When the membership examined the policy positions and individual backgrounds of the three candidates for Insurance Commissioner, they unanimously determined that only Wayne Goodwin would be an Insurance Commissioner who would fight for working families and consumers.

"The fact that I received the unanimous endorsement without any hesitation by the members is not only incredibly humbling, but it shows that there is a stark contrast between the two Democratic candidates for Insurance Commissioner. I am the candidate who will be most effective in the fight to keep insurance rates reasonably low and fair," said Goodwin. "Consumers, families and small businesses need an Insurance Commissioner who will insist on fairness and a stable insurance market."

Richmond County Newspaper Endorses Wayne Goodwin for NC Insurance Commissioner

The following ran as the sole editorial in my hometown newspaper on March 6th:

Favorite son insures stability
By The Richmond County Daily Journal Editorial Board

"Back in April of 2004 we presented an editorial about a native son, Wayne Goodwin.

Goodwin had filed to run for labor commissioner of North Carolina. Part of what we wrote back then was this:

“No one from Hamlet has ever been elected to a statewide office.

The last person elected from the county, living in the county at the time, to a statewide office was in the 1920s.

We are really proud of Richmond County's son and the strides he has taken to advocate for the better of Richmond County in the Legislature.

He was instrumental in helping to get rid of the gutted Imperial Foods plant building that was a painful reminder to the victims and their families of that tragic fire in September 1991.

He is a hard worker, who came from humble beginnings but has worked his way through the ranks.

Richmond County should be proud to have someone with the courage and ambition to go after a seat at the table of 10 - the Council of State.

Goodwin has a tough and tiring road ahead in campaigning across the state. We hope he feels a force of encouragement from his hometown pushing him forward.”

Fast forward to March of 2008.

Now Goodwin has thrown his hat in the state-wide ring again. He announced last week that he is running for Insurance Commissioner.

He is trying to replace his boss, Jim Long, a Democrat, who was first elected commissioner in 1984, and as such also serves as the state fire marshal and oversees numerous other industries and activities in the state, including bail bondsmen, auto clubs, the state building code and injury prevention programs.

Long, in his endorsement of Goodwin as his successor to the elected position said, "He is a great advocate and is doing a great job for the state."

Two other candidates for insurance commissioner filed last week. Democrat David Smith is a Durham attorney and president-elect of the North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters. Republican John Odom is a former Raleigh city councilman who owns three muffler repair shops.

"I felt it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of leadership for the department," Long said in an e-mail to his employees. "It has been my honor to work side by side with you in service to the people of North Carolina."

We agree with Commissioner Long. Wayne Goodwin is the best choice to continue the leadership needed in this important North Carolina post.

His compassionate nature and commitment to service make Wayne Goodwin the best choice in this race.

The Richmond County Daily Journal wholeheartedly endorses Goodwin as the next insurance commissioner of North Carolina."

# # #

The Journal also ran a full article immediately after Goodwin filed for Insurance Commissioner.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wayne Goodwin Became First 2008 Insurance Commissioner Candidate to Refuse Special Interest Money: Challenges Dem, GOP Opponents To Do the Same

For Immediate Release
March 4, 2008

Wayne Goodwin Today (March 4th) Becomes First 2008 Insurance Commissioner Candidate to Refuse Special Interest Money: Challenges Dem, GOP Opponents To Do the Same

(Raleigh) – Wayne Goodwin, Democratic candidate for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, is the first candidate for the post to notify the State Board of Elections that he will opt into the newly-established Voter-Owned Election Program. In other words, Goodwin is refusing PAC money, large dollar contributors, and special interest money as he begins his publicly-financed campaign.

“I have been a longtime proponent of elections where the emphasis is on ideas, character and ability, and not on money and special interests,” said Goodwin. “My record is proof-positive of that.”

Goodwin filed for Insurance Commissioner on Friday, February 29, and quickly raised the initial funds allowed in phase one of the pilot program established by the legislature.

In the late afternoon of Tuesday, March 4th, only two business days since filing for office, Goodwin personally submitted his official “Declaration of Intent” form to Kim Westbrook Strach, Deputy Director of Campaign Reporting at the State Board of Elections. He also presented a check from his campaign made out to the State Board due to his having raised more contributions than necessary.

Goodwin will now seek to become a certified publicly-financed candidate. That will require a minimum of 750 registered North Carolina voters to make small-dollar contributions of between $10 and $200 (personal checks or money orders only) that exceed a total of $29,000 and no more than $238,000. Participating candidates must complete their fundraising for the entire 2008 campaign by May 6.

“I challenge my fellow candidates to opt into this program. I challenge them to show that they are not beholden to special interests and the insurance industry,” said Goodwin.

Goodwin is presently the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance – which regulates the insurance industry - and a former 4-term member of the House of Representatives.

“We need an Insurance Commissioner focused on keeping insurance rates reasonably low, as well as ensuring a competitive insurance market here in North Carolina,” he said. “The voters are not well-served if candidates spend their whole year fundraising instead of meeting and hearing from voters across the State.”

# # #

Contact: (910) 997-1301; or,

The Goodwin Committee, P.O. Box 1654, Hamlet NC 28345

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wayne Goodwin Files for NC Insurance Commissioner: Jim Long Endorses Wayne Goodwin

Please see the formal statement, below, issued by Wayne Goodwin immediately after he filed at the State Board of Elections yesterday morning. Joining the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance for the occasion were Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, and long-time DOI employees Ronnie Condrey and Lois Hall. Insurance Commissioner Jim Long wholeheartedly endorsed Wayne Goodwin at the State Board of Elections and during countless media interviews throughout the day.

Statement from Wayne Goodwin
Candidate for 2008 Democratic Nomination for Insurance Commissioner
February 29, 2008

I am honored to seek the challenging role of successor to Insurance Commissioner Jim Long. During his 23 years of service on the Council of State, Commissioner Long has day in and day out fulfilled the constitutional and statutory duties of that office in exemplary fashion. He has done so successfully, evidenced not only by his record of election six times to this statewide office, making him the longest-serving Insurance Commissioner in state history, but also by his $4.3 Billion in insurance rate savings for consumers and businesses alike. Moreover, Commissioner Long has diligently worked to maintain and expand the insurance market in North Carolina, a goal which promotes choice and competition while not detracting from his mutual mission of ensuring reasonable rates.

In seeking the office of Insurance Commissioner, it is necessary, fitting and proper for any candidate to recognize Jim Long's accomplishments and mission. With those accomplishments in mind and knowing that the public would expect no less:

I pledge to keep forever focused on the dual commitment of a Commissioner of Insurance: recognizing the need for low, fair and reasonable insurance rates for consumers and businesses alike, and the necessity of a competitive insurance market in North Carolina;

I pledge to be an impartial and hard-working member of the Council of State, fully committed to the duties of Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal;

I pledge to continue giving firefighters and all first responders a stronger voice in State government;

I pledge to strongly support the mission of the Safe Kids program;


I pledge to protect the public and businesses by fighting insurance fraud.

My record of service to the State of North Carolina and my experiences in the private sector underscore my qualifications to be North Carolina's next Insurance Commissioner.

Most recently, my work as the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance for the last three years has given me a unique opportunity to understand what the scope and duties of Insurance Commissioner are. My previous eight years of service in the legislature provide additional experiences and relationships that will assist me in fulfilling the duties of Insurance Commissioner, if elected.

In closing, there is a saying: "We stand on the shoulders of giants." I stand on the shoulders of a true giant in State government and in Tar Heel politics, Jim Long. If voters choose to elect me Insurance Commissioner in 2008, it will be my honor to continue both the great work of this great man and of his dedicated, professional staff in the best Department of Insurance in the nation.

# # #

The Honorable Wayne Goodwin, age 41, is a native of Hamlet, North Carolina. He was a Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with honors in Political Science in 1989 and from the School of Law in 1992. He received the Leadership in Government Award from North Carolina Common Cause and the A+ Legislator Award from the N.C. Association of Educators. The North Carolina Jaycees recognized him as one of the Top Five Young North Carolinians in the 1990s. Goodwin presently serves as Vice President of the N.C. Center for Voter Education, preceded by four terms as State Representative, two terms as President of the Young Democrats of North Carolina, and many leadership roles within the North Carolina Democratic Party over the last 25 years. Goodwin has been a Kiwanian since 1992. He has served in multiple roles at the Department of Insurance: Assistant Commissioner of Insurance, Assistant State Fire Marshal, and Assistant General Counsel. His wife is State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin, his immediate successor in the legislature. They have one daughter, Madison, and expect their second child in early May 2008. The Goodwins live in Rockingham, the seat of Richmond County.

For more background information or to schedule an interview, please contact Peg O'Connell via email or (919) 832-9228, or email Wayne Goodwin at or (910) 997-9790. The campaign mailing address for "The Goodwin Committee" is P.O. Box 1654, Hamlet NC 28345.

Editor's Note: The first photo above depicts Wayne Goodwin paying his filing fee to Gary Bartlett, Chairman of the State Board of Elections. The latter photo depicts Wayne Goodwin receiving the full endorsement from Jim Long.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mary Donnan Leaps Into Labor Commissioner Race

A longtime Labor Department employee has leapt into the Labor Commissioner race.

Mary Fant Donnan, now employed with the highly-respected Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, filed her papers with the State Board of Elections this week. She serves as a program officer for that charitable foundation. During her time with the N.C. Department of Labor she worked during the administration of then-Labor Commissioner Harry Payne. Donnan and her family reside in Winston-Salem.

Wayne’s World will highlight more about Mary Donnan when her campaign provides further details. The same applies to information as it is supplied about other candidates seeking the 2008 Democratic nomination. Joining her thus far in the campaign to defeat Republican Cherie Berry – the self-entitled “Elevator Lady” – are Robin Anderson of Cary and Ty Richardson of Middlesex.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here Comes the Judge! Judicial Candidates in District 20-A (Anson, Richmond, Stanly)

Here Comes the Judge!
Judicial Candidates in NC District 20-A (Anson, Richmond & Stanly Counties)
By Wayne Goodwin
26 February 2008

All too often our candidates for the judicial branch are not highlighted as much as they deserve.

That is a sad fact even though it is our judges who interpret our laws and help protect our constitutional and statutory rights. Election or selection of the appropriate persons for the bench determines the outcome of the ongoing battle to protect individual and collective life, liberty and property.

Though our Tar Heel judicial races are now non-partisan, Wayne’s World now takes this opportunity to shine the light on those brave, dedicated professionals who have put their names forward on the ballot this year in Judicial District 20-A.

In alphabetical order, the candidates so far are:


John Daniel

He is a long-time and well-respected attorney in private practice in Richmond and surrounding counties. A 1982 Campbell University School of Law alumnus, he has represented clients before the District and Superior Courts, the state Industrial Commission, and the Social Security Administration. His wife is the Assistant Clerk of Court in Richmond County and is highly-regarded on the gospel music circuit. They live in Rockingham, the seat of Richmond County. John “Johnny” Daniel is active in church and other ministries, and served in the U.S. Army, from which he received an honorable discharge. His law firm is located on U.S. 74 in Rockingham. Daniel is a member of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Tim Rodgers
Tim Rodgers currently serves as the hard-working Chief Assistant District Attorney in the overlaying prosecutorial district, reporting directly to District Attorney Michael Parker. Prior to his elevation to that post, he served seven years as an assistant district attorney. Rodgers earned his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 1998. Rodgers is an active speaker and teacher on matters regarding the courts. Those matters include domestic violence, criminal justice, and the courts process in general. Tim Rodgers, his wife, and family live in Albemarle, the county seat of Stanly County.

Amanda (Amy) Wilson
Amy Wilson is the daughter of Cathy Wilson, the former Clerk of Superior Court in Richmond County. Amy has represented clients for many years in both District Court and Superior Court, civil and criminal. She graduated from the NC Central University School of Law in 1999. Thereafter she clerked the summer for a judge (Honorable Jack Cozort) on the NC Court of Appeals, and has served as an attorney advocate – or guardian ad litem - for abused and neglected children.
Amanda (Amy) Wilson is the immediate past president of the Richmond County Democratic Women and past president of the Richmond County Jaycees. She, her husband, and child live in Rockingham. Before attending law school, Amy Wilson was a sixth grade teacher in the public schools.


Kevin Bridges

Judge Bridges is a Morehead Scholar and, on information and belief, is the first African-American to serve on the local district court bench here. He earned his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1990. His district court seat is not up for election at this time, so if he is not elevated to the Superior Court in this election then he will continue to serve on the District Court bench for all three counties. Active in the Eighth Congressional District Black Caucus and the NAACP, Judge Bridges is also a founding member of the Stanly County One-on-One Program for At-Risk Children. Governor Hunt appointed him to the bench in March 1997; he has been elected three times since. Judge Bridges, his wife, and his children live in Albemarle, the seat of Stanly County.

Charles Collini
Charles “Charlie” Collini is a long-time litigator and member of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been omnipresent in the local courts for many years. He earned his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1974 before serving as an assistant district attorney for six years. Moreover, he served as Law Clerk to the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of the U.S. District Court here in North Carolina. Collini is the past president of the District Bar Association (1996-97, 2000-01) and is known for his humor, imitations, and his dedication to his alma mater. On the latter point, all four of his children are also Tar Heel alumni. Collini is the past president of the Union County Young Democrats. He maintains his law office in Wadesboro, the seat of Anson County.

Tanya Wallace
Judge Tanya Wallace is the Chief District Court Judge in 20-A. She was the first woman, on information and belief, to serve on the local district court bench. Judge Wallace is also only one of three female Chief District Court judges currently serving in North Carolina. A 1980 alumna of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, Tanya Wallace has served as judge continuously since her appointment in 1987 – that is, 21 years. Since then she has been elected five (5) times to the bench, giving her seniority in the region. Her family has been very active in Democratic Party politics and in community, civic, and church affairs. Judge Wallace is also a faithful Rotarian. She and her husband live in Rockingham. Judge Wallace’s daughter, Chevonne, is presently in her second year at Campbell University School of Law.(Photo: Judge Wallace and State Representative Melanie Wade Goodwin at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Luncheon in Richmond County in January 2008.)

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It is important to note two things.

First, all of the above candidates are registered Democrats.

Second, two of our Superior Court judges are retiring this year. They are current Resident Superior Court Judge Michael Beale and Judge Susan Taylor. Beale lives in Richmond County and Taylor resides in Stanly County. They both have been superb public servants, and are truly shining examples of what attorneys and judges should be: fair, competent, respected, dedicated, and hard-working. We here in Judicial District 20-A and at Wayne's World wish them both the very best in the years ahead, and extend a collective "thank you" for a job well-done.

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In closing, please remember our judges this year – regardless of trial level or appellate level – and note that voters must consider them separately from the partisan ballot. In other words, when you vote “straight ticket” you must still cast a separate vote for the judges.

Finally, “Wayne’s World” extends kudos to June Mabry, chairwoman of the Stanly County Democratic Party and First Vice Chair of the Eighth Congressional District Democratic Party, for reminding me and others about highlighting these races on my blog. Thank you as well to the candidates for making their resumes available for the public.