Goodwin took oath as Insurance Commissioner against a sprawling mass flashing cameras and wind-chilled onlookers. He is the first Richmond County resident to hold statewide office since Governor Cameron Morrison’s election in 1920.
“I might be most excited about seeing Andy Griffith,” said Wayne in reference to the television icon’s special reading at the Inauguration. “And I’m gonna tell him about all of my Mayberries, like Rockingham, Hamlet and Ellerbe, and tell him to come see us sometime.”
At the same time, Beverly Perdue was sworn in as North Carolina’s first female governor.
Perdue recited the oath of office administered by the female head of another branch of government — Chief Justice Sarah Parker — before thousands at the inauguration ceremony in downtown Raleigh.
For Goodwin, friends, family, and colleagues shared stories of Wayne’s path to political success at a pre-inauguration breakfast Saturday morning.
“His grandfather, my father, always said he (Wayne) would be President one day,” said Goodwin’s mother Diane.
“We always knew that he had it,” said Carolyn Bridgman and Sandra Harris, Goodwin’s grade school librarian and government teacher.
“He soaked up everything and was always so focused,” said Harris. “Plus, the other kids really liked him.”
As they shared memories, Goodwin was constantly in motion, stopping to chat, take pictures, give driving directions to his family or take an occasional bite from his plate - but never sitting down.
“We are all incredibly proud of him,” said Wayne’s wife, State Representative Melanie Goodwin.
An added success for Commissioner Goodwin was his ability to reduce insurance industry campaign donations to five percent this year.
That compares to 66 percent in 2004 because he participating in a pilot program for public campaign financing, which is how he received 95 percent of his funds.
“The program helps prevent special interest groups from controlling us, and it made my campaign easier,” said Goodwin. “Instead of spending time fundraising I got to travel all over the state and meet my voters.
“The more time you spend with voters, the better you can do your job.”
After the inauguration, Goodwin and his family rode through the inaugural parade, waving at crowds of cheering North Carolinians. The Richmond Senior High School marching band and cheerleading team, in the parade through a special invitation from Goodwin, followed shortly after. Waving green and gold flags, pom-poms and uniforms were accompanied by the RSHS fight song.
“Richmond County’s got a double whammy now, the Insurance Commissioner and a top-notch Representative,” Attorney and former N.C. Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten said talking about Goodwin and his wife Melanie.