Goodwin to run for House seat
By Reggie Ponder
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
EDENTON — Eddy Goodwin, a former state ferry director and former Chowan commissioner, says he plans to run for state representative in the newly configured 1st House District next year.
Goodwin, 65, is planning to run in the new House district that includes Chowan, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Bertie, Washington and Camden counties. He’s seeking the seat because current House 1 state Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, isn’t seeking re-election to the House but plans to run for the state Senate instead.
The filing period for the March primaries opens in February.
Goodwin said he likes the direction the state has been going under the Republican-led General Assembly but would like to work to ensure that northeastern North Carolina is treated fairly when it comes to funding for transportation and other infrastructure projects.
“That’s a driving thing to me,” Goodwin said. “This is my home area.”
With his previous experience in both state and local government, Goodwin said he decided to step up and run for the Legislature.
“It’s just a patriotic thing,” Goodwin said. ”If I see something that I think I should do and I have the ability and experience to that, I really can’t complain about what somebody else is doing if I’m not willing to step out there and do it myself.”
Goodwin, a Chowan County native and graduate of East Carolina University, served four years in the U.S. Air Force and 23 years in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service before returning to Chowan to farm with his brother.
In 2008, Goodwin won his first bid for elective office when he ran for county commissioner in Chowan. Even though the seven-member board had a majority of Democrats, commissioners tapped Goodwin to serve as chairman — a role he would serve until his four-year term expired in 2012.
Just as Goodwin was mounting his general election campaign for commissioner in 2008, Chowan officials announced the county effectively broke and on the verge of a fiscal takeover by the N.C. Local Government Commission.
Goodwin said leading the county through the fiscal crisis — today Chowan is back in the black — was a test of leadership.
“I’m not bragging and saying I have great leadership skills, but what skills I did have got improved upon by that situation,” Goodwin said.
One of the most important lessons he learned during that time, he said, is that a leader doesn’t have to be the smartest person in the room but should surround himself with the smartest people available and listen to what they have to say.
In 2012, Goodwin won the Republican nomination for state Secretary of State, besting a number of other candidates in the GOP primary. Although he lost the general election to incumbent Democrat Elaine Marshall, he was tapped by new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory to head the state’s Ferry Division. He would serve in the post from 2013 until earlier this year when his replacement was appointed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
If he’s successful in his bid for a House seat, one of the key issues Goodwin will be grappling with is the development of alternative energy sources in the region.
Goodwin said he believes that wind power and other alternative energy sources are part of a balanced approach to energy policy for the state.
“You have got to have a blend of everything,” he said.
Goodwin said he doesn’t like everything about wind power and other alternative energy sources but thinks there are ways to balance the positive and negative aspects of different sources of energy.
“I think there’s a way to get it balanced out,” Goodwin said.