January 21, 2020/Press

ICYMI – North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Visits Western NC as Part of Rural NC Listening Tour

Raleigh – On a recent leg of the NC Democratic Party’s Rural NC Listening Tour, Chair Goodwin met with local Democrats and unaffiliated voters to discuss issues important to them, including strengthening local economies and expanding Medicaid. Goodwin has visited more than half of all counties in North Carolina as part of the tour.

Goodwin spoke to what he had seen traveling the state, particularly the hardships some North Carolinians are experiencing. “There are folks who are hurting,” [Chair Goodwin] said. “There are folks who have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet.”

The party’s Rural NC Listening Tour started in 2018 as an effort to connect with rural voters across North Carolina and recommit to fighting for everyday issues like jobs, health care and education and our shared values as Democrats and North Carolinians. 

McDowell News: State Democratic Party chairman visits McDowell
By Mike Conley 
January 9, 2020

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin visited McDowell County Thursday morning where he met with local Democrats and unaffiliated voters as part of the party’s 2019 Rural N.C. Listening Tour.

Around 25 people attended the informal gathering held in the Parish House of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Marion.

“The party’s Rural N.C. Listening Tour started in 2018 as a way to reconnect with rural voters across North Carolina and recommit to fighting for pocketbook issues and our shared democratic values,” reads a statement from the state party.

Goodwin has visited more than half of all counties in North Carolina as part of the tour. In the western part of the state, he’s previously met with folks in counties like Buncombe, Swain and Jackson.

“We are a battleground state,” he said Thursday morning. “Every vote matters. There’s so much happening now and it depends on North Carolina. Everywhere I go and our staff goes, the excitement is palpable.”

Goodwin talked with McDowell Democratic Party activists alike about issues like strengthening the local economy and expanding Medicaid.

“There are folks who are hurting,” he said. “There are folks who have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet.”

Some of the concerns he heard from local residents were cyber security and access to affordable health care. Another concern was the expansion of Medicaid. Locally, 3,000 people in McDowell County would have health care, if Medicaid was expanded in North Carolina, according to Democratic Party officials.

Goodwin said expansion of Medicaid would be a big step…


Retired Judge Robert C. “Bob” Hunter talked to Goodwin of getting rid of gerrymandering. Goodwin said he supports an independent commission to draw boundary lines for legislative districts, so no party would benefit.

The Mountaineer: State Democratic party chair visits Haywood
By Kyle Perrotti 
January 14, 2020

North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin visited Haywood County last week.

The visit, which was part of his “Rural North Carolina Listening Tour,” gave local Democrats the chance to have a dialogue with Goodwin while also receiving some specific talking points from the state level.

Goodwin, who hails from Richmond County, a rural area between Charlotte and Fayetteville, began by offering some words to the full house of eager party loyalists. He explained the point of reaching out specifically to rural communities.

“A paramount goal of mine has been to make sure we reach out to every North Carolinian … I know that it is imperative that if we are to be victorious in 2020 and in any election year that we must reach out to every voter,” he said, adding that he believes Democrats truly understand what North Carolina and its voters really value.

A common talking point among Republicans is the soaring stock market and low unemployment numbers. However, Goodwin pointed out that the great numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, considering the stagnant wages.

“If you are low income or middle income or having to work two or three jobs, the stock market being at record levels isn’t helping you at all,” he said.

After his brief speech, Goodwin took questions and comments from those in attendance. The overarching message throughout the message was party unity.

“We want to make sure that after the primaries are over on March 3 … get behind every one of our nominees,” he said.

“I think we agree on the vast majority of things, and we should focus on that which unites us,” he added. “The other side, they like to tear things apart. And they know that if they pick at us and split us up and have us go at each other’s jugulars in primary elections, that doesn’t help our cause. It helps the other side’s cause.”


Goodwin specifically mentioned access to rural broadband, infrastructure improvement, clean air, clean water, better investment in public schools and educator salaries. He also noted that as a “native son of rural North Carolina,” he knows every vote needs to be fought for, especially those in less populated regions, such as Western North Carolina.

In 2018, Democrats broke the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly by picking up extra seats. Goodwin said that enabled Cooper to veto some crucial pieces of legislation knowing that veto likely wouldn’t be overridden. He said he thinks Democrats can take an even bigger step forward in 2020 by flipping the house, which will ideally lead to an independent redistricting committee with the aim to end gerrymandering in the Tar Heel State.