It is now clear that incumbent Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has received the clear and consistent support of newspaper editors across the Tar Heel state.
So far, Goodwin has received endorsements for re-election from The Charlotte Observer, the Winston-Salem Journal, the Asheville Citizen-Times, and The Independent Weekly.
It appears that opponent Mike Causey has only received endorsements from hyper-partisan Tea Party groups and Tea Party-related "news" blogs. Only Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has received endorsements from bipartisan, mainstream North Carolina. (Keep in mind that Republicans have gone out of their way to support Democrat Wayne Goodwin, and not just former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr., but North Carolina GOP members all across the state.)
It is most interesting to note what some of the printed endorsements had to say in the race.
The Charlotte Observer stated that only Goodwin was capable of handling the "complicated" insurance law landscape for North Carolina and that only the incumbent commissioner has "a keen grasp" of the issues.
The Independent Weekly stated:
"We endorse incumbent Wayne Goodwin, who is running for a second term. We applaud his attention to insurance issues affecting coastal property owners. He is seeking greater consumer protections for these property owners, who may not be able to afford or even apply for insurance in these hurricane-prone areas. One way he is doing this is to stagger rate hikes over several years so that property owners aren't hit with sticker shock.In Winston-Salem the newspaper stated that Goodwin has "guided his department through a difficult era for insurance coverage and done reasonably well ..."
While Goodwin understands that insurance companies are businesses and thus want to make a profit, he is also aware of their power to tip the scales toward their interests. He recently persuaded the Legislature to require public comment periods after insurance company rate filings and is focusing on making insurance policies readable—reducing the legalese—for lay people.
His opponent, Mike Causey, a retired insurance professional, worked as a lobbyist for the insurance industry. He ran for commissioner in 1992, 1996 and 2000 against then-commissioner Jim Long. He worked as a lobbyist for several groups, including Citizens for Insurance Reform. He opposes ObamaCare and disagrees with the Supreme Court's ruling that most of it is constitutional."
Meanwhile, the blogosphere has entered into the Insurance Commissioner race as well. The Greensboro News & Record's political blogger, Travis Fain, commented on Causey's federal tax lien, bankruptcy and campaign finance problems, while an interesting independent blog has focused on Causey's foibles and roadblocks to being a good fit for North Carolina.
UPDATE #1: The Greensboro News & Record endorsed Wayne Goodwin for re-election as Insurance Commissioner on October 23rd. Here's its basis for the endorsement:
"Goodwin, however, put down a potential storm two years ago when then-state Senate leader Marc Basnight tried to weaken the commissioner’s rate-setting authority. Basnight, from Dare County, attempted a legislative maneuver that likely would have led to lower property insurance rates in coastal counties, with inland policy holders paying more. Goodwin stopped it cold, as he has resisted rate increases while also trying to make North Carolina a place where insurance companies can still do business.UPDATE #2: The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City, one of our beautiful eastern/coastal cities of North Carolina, has now endorsed Wayne Goodwin for re-election as NC Insurance Commissioner, based on its October 25th editorial.
Goodwin also believes North Carolina should play a role in managing health insurance exchanges to provide low-cost coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Causey opposes the federal law. “Nullification” by North Carolina is “still an option,” he said. No, it’s not.
Goodwin is the better choice."