Thaddeus L. Godwin Sr. cruised to a victory to retain the District 5 county commissioner’s seat he was appointed to earlier this year.
Godwin received 623 votes to Willie R. Moore’s 250, good for more than 70 percent of the vote. Godwin was sworn in as District 5 appointee in February following Albert Kirby’s departure for a judgeship, and faced off against Moore to keep the seat for the next four years.
A Clinton native and 1973 Clinton High graduate, Godwin went to York College of Pennsylvania to study criminology following high school. He was a member of the Air National Guard for more than 20 years and attended Lancaster Bible College. He has served in various ministerial capacities over the years, including as a deacon and educational minister in Pennsylvania for 15 years before coming back to serve as pastor at Lisbon Street Missionary Baptist in Clinton, where he first found God, was baptized and married his wife Eloise some four decades ago in 1977.
Godwin was the first to file at the Board of Elections in February for the seat vacated by Kirby after seven years. The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Godwin’s appointment upon the recommendation of then-Democratic chairman Brent Baggett, who made the request on behalf of the party’s executive committee. He was appointed later the same week of his filing.
Godwin will continue to fill Kirby’s unexpired term, which ends in November.
“This opportunity is a great opportunity, and I don’t take it lightly,” Godwin said at the time, addressing commissioners, family and others gathered at his swearing-in, an oath administered by Kirby. “This is an opportunity to help Sampson County, to be able to show people that this county means something to all of us. If we can go forth working together, we can claim a reputation as a star in North Carolina. I want to be a part of doing something in Clinton and Sampson County.”
That will be accomplished through teamwork and diplomacy, he noted.
“I like bringing people together and I know how to be diplomatic,” Godwin stated recently. “It doesn’t always mean I get my way, but I know how to listen and be diplomatic whatever the case may be. I loved working with people. One of my main things is teamwork, and I look forward to working as a team with the other commissioners.”
Godwin and wife Eloise have two children, Thaddeus Godwin Jr. and Latasha Godwin Johnson, and seven grandchildren.
Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.