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ROCKINGHAM- At the Richmond County Democratic Party Convention, Wayne Goodwin spoke to a very enthusiastic crowd of local fellow Democrats. Goodwin began his remarks by telling the crowd “A blue wave is coming.” The comment was followed by a hearty round of applause and cheering from the group gathered in the gym at Washington Street School in Rockingham.
Born, raised and educated in Richmond County, Goodwin began his speech with a dose of hometown charm, giving those in attendance an update on the Goodwin Family. According to Goodwin, his wife and two children are all doing well. Speaking about his local roots, Goodwin stated, “Wherever I go, whatever I do, whether as our state insurance commissioner or now as state party chair, I tell folks that the way I am is because I was raised here in Richmond County.” He noted that the many life experiences he gained though the local community, the schools, his church and family “shaped who I am today.”
Goodwin then spoke on what he called the recent past and of his belief that the Democrats became complacent with the success of the 2008 elections, stating, “We thought we were going to have it made, then the 2010 election came along and a lot of democrats “sat on their hands.” Goodwin suggested, “We would be foolhardy if we did not admit that part of our difficulties, part of our current challenges, are of our own making.”
Goodwin noted, “Elections have consequences and the Democrats are now paying the price for having become complacent following the 2008 election.” He suggested that the 2010 election saw Democrats lose power and allowed the Republicans to redraw unfair voting district lines. Goodwin believes this had a negative impact on Democrats in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections.
“Everybody’s special, right? Y’all are extra special because you chose to be here,” said Goodwin. “You care about our county; you could be somewhere else, doing something else on this great Saturday, but you chose to be here.” Goodwin went on to say, “I need you to be an ambassador for our party, an ambassador for creating opportunity for everybody.”
Speaking on the topic of what Democrats believe is critical, Goodwin stressed that “opportunity is tied to the hip with the level of resources our public schools have.” He went on to say that the big cities are not the only ones who need the best highways, plumbing, sewers, bridges and roads. “You need these in rural communities too,” said Goodwin. Goodwin said good infrastructure is vital to rural communities as they work to attract industry and noted that everyone benefits from that growth. He suggested that broadband Internet is also a necessity and said, “Our rural communities will prosper if we make sure they have equal access to the Internet.”
In his closing comments, Goodwin challenged the Democratic faithful with these questions: “Why are you here? Who else should be here? What can you do to reach out to more voters? What can you do more of?” He reached out to the party members present with the challenge of becoming more involved and involving others as the 2018 election time draws near.
The Richmond Observer will feature stories on the speeches given by candidates at the Richmond County Democratic Convention in the coming days.