August 19, 2019/Press

ICYMI: Chair Goodwin Visits Bladen, Robeson, Scotland and Richmond on First Leg of 2019 Rural N.C. Listening Tour

Raleigh – Last week, NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin kicked off the 2019 Rural N.C. Listening Tour with visits to Bladen, Robeson, Scotland and Richmond counties to talk with voters about the kitchen table issues that impact them and their families. With the most important election of our lifetime on the horizon, and two special elections in less than a month, the North Carolina Democratic Party is recommitting itself to going everywhere and speaking with every voter as we work to build on our momentum and successes from 2018.

Laurinburg Exchange: NC Democratic chairman visits Laurinburg
By Katelin Gandee
August 13, 2019

LAURINBURG — North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin made Scotland County his third stop Tuesday for the second annual Rural NC Listening Tour.

Goodwin was joined on the tour by Cynthia Wallace, the 9th Congressional District chair; Doug Wilson, deputy executive director; and Meredith Cuomo, executive director of the NC Democratic Party.

The tour went to Bladen, Robeson Scotland and Richmond counties in order to reach out to rural voters, listen to concerns and discuss the issues that were most important to them.

One large topic that was discussed at the meeting was that of the upcoming 9th Congressional District special election, with questions about how to gain traction in getting people out to the polls.

“This is the only unresolved election in the country from 2018,” said Wallace. “This is because those voters in Bladen County weren’t silent with their votes being stolen and now we are standing up for a fair election.”

Goodwin added that it’s important for people in the community to know that the election is coming up and be able to get to the polling stations. Future elections will rely heavily on digital and social media to get information out but with this election, Wallace said the way to win isn’t through the online world.

“This is going to be a narrow election,” Wallace said. “How can we get people out to the polls? The best way to win is by knocking on doors and letting people know.”

Goodwin also applauded the local party for its leadership in politics with the activity and other separate organizations like the Democratic Women in the county.

“The North Carolina Democratic Party is very proud of the work and leadership over many years of the Scotland County Democratic Party,” Goodwin said. “I’m confident that our message of unity and hope and opportunity for all will win the day over divisiveness and hate and opportunity for the few.”

These tours bring up many similar issues including Medicaid expansion, redistricting and other public policy issues. Goodwin added it’s important for them to come to speak to people in rural counties since many times the counties are looked over in favor of urban areas.

“I consider these conversations, civic in nature and helpful of the ultimate goal of having the largest voter turnout possible in the next election,” Goodwin said. “I plan on spending 2020 crisscrossing the state, visiting every community I can and giving every voter I meet the opportunity to voice her or his concerns about what we’re facing.”

Richmond County Daily Journal: Dem Chairman touring rural NC reflects on Richmond County’s growth
By Gavin Stone
August 17, 2019

ROCKINGHAM — When it comes to 2020, North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman and Richmond County-native Wayne Goodwin is focused on the “kitchen table” and “pocketbook” issues that affect all voters.

“‘Are my kids going to have a better life than I did? Are they going to be able to attend a good public school? Are they going to be able to attend community college or university of their choice? Are we going to have clean air, clean water? Are we going to be able to pay for affordable medications and have access to health care?’” Goodwin said, listing the concerns he hears most often traveling around the state. “These are kitchen table-issues that the vast majority of citizens care about.”

As he travels across the state on his Rural NC Listening Tour 2019, aiming to surpass last year’s mark of visiting 43 counties in the state, Goodwin said his goal will be showing that Democratic candidates are poised to make the most difference on those issues as opposed to Republicans who he said have been focusing instead on “divisive social issues.”

This week, Goodwin made stops in Elizabethtown, Lumberton, Laurinburg and Rockingham. In Elizabethtown, he held a roundtable discussion on President Donald Trump’s tariffs with a dozen African-American farmers. In Lumberton, he met with leaders from the Lumbee and African-American communities about Medicaid expansion and how it could increase access to health care and add new jobs.

In Laurinburg and Rockingham, his discussions were held with local Democratic Party leaders on getting out the vote for Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District, Dan McCready.
Since his time in the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004, a time when Richmond County was shedding manufacturing jobs, Goodwin said he’s seen “positive changes,” such as the recent addition of the likes of Enviva Biomass and Volumetric Building Companies.

“From what I’ve seen since then and particularly now is that a rebound is in effect,” Goodwin said. “I commend our local officials and our local economic development recruiters for what they are doing as the 21st century economy evolves. As we continue to become more and more of a transportation hub given the developments in the highway system here I think we will continue to rebound here.”

He attributed these new developments to the county having experienced leaders and newer leaders who understand the modern economy, and to Richmond Community College preparing the work force.

“I’m old enough to remember when the best job that one could get in the county was working with the railroad and I’m also old enough to remember that we’ve seen some dark days but that we are seeing a light at the end and that it will take continued focus by our local and state officials to have Richmond County being on the radar for economic expansion.”

Robesonian: Campaign agrees that turnout critical in District 9 race
By Scott Bigelow
August 16, 2019

LUMBERTON — Contrasting messages and campaigns mark the race to the finish line in the special election for the N.C. District 9 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives between Republican Dan Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready, both of Charlotte.

The urban/rural nature of District 9 would seem to make the election an important referendum on President Donald Trump’s electability in 2020, but local political activists say that every off-year election is a popularity contest for a sitting president.

Recent polls appear to back up what both camps are saying about the neck-and-neck race for a seat in Congress that has been vacant since the November 2018 election was invalidated because of tainted absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties. Robert Pittenger last held the seat, and Republican Mark Harris’ apparent victory over McCready in the November election was vacated by the state Board of Elections because of concerns about absentee ballots.

Early voting in the District 9 race begins Wednesday and ends Sept. 6. Election Day is Sept. 10.

On a swing through District 9 this past week, state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin drew a contrasting picture of the candidates.
“Dan Bishop is going for hot-button, divisive issues,” Goodwin said. “Dan McCready is advocating common-sense issues of economic development, roads, water, broadband access, building up rural communities and health care.

“Republicans are using the practice of dividing people. We are doing our best to unify people.”

The Democratic Party chairman portrayed McCready as a candidate who is listening to the people of District 9 and is working hard to win their votes.

“There is a lot of work to be done, and we are working hard in District 9, and across the state, to win a majority in the General Assembly,” Goodwin said.

Like the other observers, Goodwin agrees that turnout of the party base is critical on Sept. 10.

Early voting can be done at the Board of Elections Office in Lumberton, and five satellite sites, in Fairmont, Maxton, Pembroke, Red Springs and St. Pauls.