Local Politics

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

Posted February 29, 2008 12:00 p.m. EST
Updated February 29, 2008 3:14 p.m. EST

— 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.