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Goodwin speaks at Democratic event

By Staff | Jan 28, 2011

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Former U.S. Sen. Carte Goodwin, D-W.Va., was the keynote speaker at an annual dinner for the Jefferson County Organization for Democratic Women Saturday night in Shepherdstown.

Goodwin, a Charleston lawyer, served as former Gov. Joe Manchin’s chief counsel before being appointed to fill the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s, D-W.Va., seat last summer.

“It was such a privilege to represent West Virginia. … It was a bit of a whirlwind because everything happened so quick for me,” Goodwin said. “I had about two days notice and the next thing you know I’m standing up there with (Vice President) Joe Biden getting sworn in, and once you were there you were expected to roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

Goodwin spoke to the large crowd about his four months in the Senate and some of the challenges facing the county and the Democratic Party in the next few years. The biggest issue facing the country is the economy, Goodwin said.

“Political science is an inexact science, but if you go back over generations and look at it, election results correspond so closely with the fortune of the economy,” he said. “Although the macro indicators are starting to suggest it might be turning around we need to see more of that … where jobs are up, jobs are growing, businesses are investing, and hopefully we turn the corner where we’ll see that the next couple years.”

Goodwin also spoke briefly about his potential political future.

“It’s hard not to get the bug, I suppose, being in Washington,” Goodwin said. “I’ve always been interested in public service, I was honored to work with Joe Manchin for four years, and I suppose I’ll always be drawn to it in some way, but in what form and when, I’m not sure.”

Saturday’s event served as an annual fundraiser for the JCODW, which has more than 60 members, according to organization president Sarah Orrick.

“This is our big yearly event, yes, but we have events monthly … where we have forums that we invite the public to,” Orrick said. “They’re on different topics, it could be either legislative topics or topics of interest to the community like community service or environmental topics or health topics, a whole variety of things.”

Orrick said one of the organization’s goals is to raise awareness of different issues and inform people on how they can help out on those issues.

“A lot of what we do is to promote Democratic values, and we want more people to get involved in the political process and to be good citizens,” she said. “We just hope more people learn about us. … They’re welcome to our meetings, we don’t restrict our meetings to Democrats at all, everybody’s welcome.”