George Wayne Goodwin is a North Carolina politician and current chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. He was elected North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance in the 2008 election and re-elected in 2012. He was defeated in his bid for a third term in 2016. However, he quickly rebounded and was elected on February 11, 2017 as Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party on the first ballot with 92% of the vote among four candidates.
Goodwin previously served as a Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly representing the state's sixty-eighth House district, including constituents in Richmond and Stanly counties. His prior district â" the 32nd House district â" also included Scotland and Montgomery Counties.
After serving as President of the Young Democrats of North Carolina, Goodwin served four full terms in the North Carolina state House. Goodwin campaigned as the Democratic nominee for the position of North Carolina Commissioner of Labor in the 2004 election, losing in a close race to incumbent Republican Cherie Berry.
Goodwin served as the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance and Assistant State Fire Marshal for the State of North Carolina from 2005 through 2008. In 2008, Goodwin filed to run for Commissioner of Insurance after the surprise retirement of longtime Commissioner Jim Long. Goodwin defeated David Smith in the Democratic primary 56%â"43% and went on to beat Republican John Odom and Libertarian Mark McMains with 51.57% of the vote. Running for re-election in 2012, Goodwin was endorsed by the News and Observer, whose editors wrote that he "has tilted toward lower rates and consumer protection, but not to the point where insurance â" auto and property in particular â" has become hard to obtain. He tackled a problem with the availability of coastal homeowners insurance in a way meant to balance the interests of coastal and inland residents....Goodwin has shown that heâs up to the job." Goodwin won re-election in the 2012 general contest by almost four percentage points.
Goodwin also served as Vice Chairman of the Southeast Zone of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the chairman of various consumer protection-related committees on the national level. Among other assignments, he served as Chairman of the national task force fighting insurance fraud.
Goodwin has been recognized for his populist, consumer protection-oriented approach and an approachable leadership style that has brought bipartisan support during his years of public service, especially as the state's 10th Insurance Commissioner.
Between January 2009 and January 2016 Commissioner Goodwin saved North Carolina consumers - individuals, families and businesses - more than $2.4 billion resulting from his decisions on rate cuts, refunds, rebates and restitution.
Insurance Commissioner Goodwin made national and statewide news when North Carolina, regularly in the top six or seven states before and during his administration, had improved even more to become the one state in all the United States with the lowest automobile insurance premiums.
During his professional and political careers, Goodwin has received many accolades and awards; among them are: the "A+ Legislator Award" from the NC Association of Educators (NCAE); the "Leadership in Government Award" from NC Common Cause; the "Jim Long Award" from the Seniors Health Insurance Information Program; and, the "Defender of Justice Award" from the NC Justice Center.
He was a candidate for re-election in 2016. After losing the general election, Goodwin announced that he would run for chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. With the support of 92% of ballots cast, he was elected to lead the state party on Feb. 11, 2017.
Personal life and non-profit work
An attorney from Hamlet, North Carolina, Goodwin was a Morehead Scholar and US Senate/William Randolph Hearst Scholar. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors in Political Science, where he was a member of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies and then went on to graduate from the UNC School of Law.
Wayne Goodwin is married to Melanie Wade Goodwin, who also served three terms in the legislature. They have two children.
In 2007 he began operation of his own political blog, "Wayne's World".
Goodwin is the past president of the North Carolina Center for Voter Education, a Raleigh-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving elections and strengthening civic engagement in North Carolina.
He is also popular on the speaking circuit, sought after by churches, business groups, schools, non-profits and fellow political candidates.
- Wayne Goodwin Campaign site
- Wayne's World