Local Politics

No Re-Election Run for Jim Long; 2 Others Seek Job

Posted February 29, 2008

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— Hours before the deadline to file for candidacy, longtime North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Jim Long said Friday he will not seek re-election to a seventh term. Instead, he is backing his deputy for the job.

G. Wayne Goodwin, a former four-term state representative from Hamlet and current assistant commissioner of insurance and assistant state fire marshal, will seek the post.

In an interview on WRAL's Noon News Friday, Long said he's working with his employees to let them know that "life does go on."

"I’ll be there through the end of the year anyway. It’s not like I’m dead or anything," Long said. "As President Kennedy said one time, 'It's time to pass the torch to the next generation.'"

In a news release, Goodwin focused on his experience in the Legislature and the North Carolina Insurance Department, among other things. The former state House member from Richmond County, ran unsuccessfully for state labor commissioner in 2004, losing to Republican Cherie Berry.

“I pledge to keep forever focused on the dual commitment of a good insurance commissioner: recognizing the need for low, fair and reasonable insurance rates for consumers and businesses alike and the necessity of a competitive insurance market in North Carolina," he said.

Former Raleigh Mayor-Pro-tem Jon Odom also filed for the position, saying in a news release that North Carolina residents needs someone that will listen and respond to their insurance needs.

“I pledge to run as a candidate for the people and not the special interests,” he said. “The people of North Carolina have had enough of rising insurance rates and lack of concern from the Department of Insurance.”

Long is the longest-serving Democratic official on the Council of State and likes to call himself the "oldest rat in the barn." He turns 68 next month.

The Burlington native served in the state House in the 1970s, in the same Alamance County seat once held by his father and grandfather.

Long will serve out the rest of his term, which runs through the end of the year.


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  • TechRescue Feb 29, 2008

    The Fire Service in North Carolina owes a large debt to Jim Long. He has been a tireless advocate for fire safety and firefighter education. I hope that whoever wins his position will assume the leadership role that Mr. Long has handled so well over the years.

    The only advantage to me is that now I can vote straight-ticket for the republicans - haven't been able to do that for many years (lol).

    Thank you, Mr. Long.

  • garden Feb 29, 2008

    Jim Long has been one of NC jewels.

  • WHEEL Feb 29, 2008

    Jim Long is the only official elected or otherwise in Raleigh that ever did anything to help me or my company.

    Looks like Tony Rand with his ridiculous auto rate setting proposal has finally run him off.

  • mep Feb 29, 2008

    THANK YOU Mr. Long for your years of good and faithful service!
    He is the only Democrat I have ever voted for.
    I hope his replacement does at least as good a job as Long has done over the years.

  • Broker - Back from Lurking Feb 29, 2008

    Best wishes Jim... I'm voting for his nominee. I am on both sides of the insurance fence - insured individual and salesman for insurance products. Jim has faithfully served both sides very well and in a consistent and fair manner. He speaks for the proverbial 'little guy' - be that person the insured or the individual broker banging his head against a wall of corporate runaround. Jim, you will be missed by most everyone.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 29, 2008

    Sorry to see him go. I think he is one of the very few people that actually looked out for the citizens. Good luck in future endeavors Mr. Long.

  • TheBullCity Feb 29, 2008

    I hope he'll reconsider.

  • ptahandatum Feb 29, 2008

    If we had elected officials who worked as hard for the people as Jim Long has, we wouldn't have near the problems we have. Great job Jim! Your shoes will be hard to fill.

  • orange dude Feb 29, 2008

    He's one of the few who truly used his office to look after the citizens of this state. Not many left.

  • OncomingStorm Feb 29, 2008

    I can't think of North Carolina without Jim Long. When my 84 year old neighbor lady had her house hit by a truck, Jim was just a phone call away and ready to send help with all the forms and facts needed to make the other fellow's insurance pay. Jim worked so long and has such a good, honest reputation that I sure hope he gets the rest he deserves.