Former state Rep. Melanie Goodwin remembered as trailblazer
Posted on July 22, 2021
Corey Lowenstein | The News & Observer via AP
In this May 2008 file photo, state Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin visits with her 11 day-old baby, Jackson, in a nursery she set up for him at the Legislative Building on the first day of the new session. Goodwin, who was the state's first lawmaker to have a baby while holding office, died Sept. 1, 2020, at age 50, after being diagnosed with cancer 11 years prior.
RALEIGH — Colleagues of the late North Carolina state Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin remembered her Wednesday as a trailblazer for women in public service who accomplished much during a life cut short by cancer.
The House and Senate approved a resolution remembering Goodwin, who died last September at age 50. She had been diagnosed 11 years earlier.
Goodwin served in the state House from 2005 through 2010, representing Richmond County and part of Montgomery County. She also made state history by becoming the first lawmaker to give birth while holding office in 2008.
“Melanie paved the way for so many people,” said Rep. Becky Carney, a Mecklenburg County Democrat. “But for women who wanted to serve in office, she proved and showed that there were no barriers that a woman can’t conquer in order to be a public servant.”
Goodwin, an attorney, later served on the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Her career also included representing domestic violence victims in court and working at the North Carolina Council for Women.
Her two children were identified Wednesday from the House gallery along with husband, Wayne Goodwin, who preceded his wife in the House seat she later won. He is a former state insurance commissioner and ex-state Democratic Party chair.
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