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!