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."

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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.”

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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.