Thursday, 15 July 2021 16:52

State House to honor Goodwin's memory next week

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RALEIGH — The North Carolina House of Representatives next week will honor one of its former members, the late Melanie Goodwin, who served Richmond County for three terms.


On Wednesday, July 21 — the day before what would have been her 51st birthday — the House will convene at 4 p.m. to vote on a resolution to remember the former legislator.

The resolution, filed June 24, was sponsored by Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg.

Rep. Ben Moss, R-Richmond, who now holds Goodwin's former seat, is one of House Joint Resolution 971's many co-sponsors.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Goodwin spent the majority of her life in North Carolina. She graduated in 1988 from Sanderson High School in Raleigh and went on to obtain an BA in English from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1992 and a Juris Doctorate from Campbell University in 2000.

Her public service career with the state began the same year she graduated from UNC, serving as special projects director for the N.C. Council on Women. She held that post until 1997. During that time, she also served as a state delegate to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

After obtaining her law degree, Goodwin opened a practice in Hamlet — and later an office in Rockingham — where she specialized in family law.

Goodwin served three terms in the state House — succeeding her husband, Wayne Goodwin — during which time she made milestones as the first female representative of Richmond County and the first sitting legislator to give birth in office.

She also held leadership positions and served on a variety of committees.

After leaving office in 2011, Goodwin was appointed deputy director of the N.C. Industrial Commission and was named chief deputy director in 2019.

She died in September 2020 after an 11-year cancer battle.

Ken Goodman, who followed Goodwin in the House and later joined her on the Industrial Commission, said Thursday that he couldn’t “think of enough good things to say about her.”

“Everybody I know loved Melanie,” Goodman said. “She was a great legislator (and) was well respected by members of both parties.”

Goodman added that Goodwin was an excellent lawyer, great deputy commissioner and a “friend as well as a colleague.”

As for her time on the Industrial Commission, Goodman said, “She did her job well, did all her research. When she wrote a decision, it was based on the law — it was fair.”

According to Wayne Goodwin, the resolution will be the first order of business taken up by the House and the session will be livestreamed at ncleg.gov.

(See House Resolution 971 attached at the bottom of this story.)

(NOTE: This story has been updated to include Rep. Ben Moss as a cosponsor of the resolution. 9:34 p.m.) 

Last modified on Thursday, 15 July 2021 21:34