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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thom Goolsby has resigned from the North Carolina Senate.

In a letter written to Gov. Pat McCrory, Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, said it’s been “the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of New Hanover County in the North Carolina Senate.”

Goolsby had already made the decision not to run again.

Goolsby told WWAY that he wants “Michael Lee to have a running start.” Lee, a fellow Republican, is running for Goolsby’s seat. Lee’s Democratic opponent Elizabeth Redenbaugh responded to Goolsby’s resignation Monday evening.

“With Thom Goolsby’s resignation from the Senate today, Wilmington voters can begin to turn the page on a reckless agenda that repeatedly picked the wealthy and special interests over our students, teachers and middle class families,” Redenbaugh said in a statement. “Our campaign isn’t about Thom Goolsby. It is about the voters and changing the priorities in Raleigh. There is no doubt that Michael Lee will only continue to neglect our teachers and students, our clean air, water and land and our local economy, just as his Republican friends have done. I plan to move Wilmington and our state forward by treating all North Carolinians with the dignity, value and respect we deserve. I’m confident that voters are ready for a real change this November.”

The executive committee of the New Hanover County Republican Party will have to choose someone to serve out the rest of Goolsby’s term, which expires in January.

Earlier this year Goolsby and his business partner were told by the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office to stop their work as investment advisers after their practice came under investigation for defrauding investors. Goolsby still plans to continue practicing law in the Port City.

Comment on this Story

  • Kevin Wuzzardo


    Thanks for your comment. To answer your question, Michael Lee was out of town when this all unfolded. The following day we reached him and did a story just on him:


    We take our political coverage very seriously, and we have never slanted toward any candidate, party or ideology.

    News Director
    WWAY NewsChannel 3

  • Margaret

    Yes, he is my president. And unless you have revoked your citizenship and no longer reside in this country, he is YOUR president, too. Are you only a Republican, and no longer an AMERICAN???

  • Guest2020

    They did take him to Goolsby’s office. And no, he wasn’t looking for a lawsuit. He was being very kind and helpful. The driver doesn’t know for sure what caused the attack, but surmised that the most likely cause was the perfume.

  • AmusedOne

    Maybe Goolsby just wanted to evaluate him to see if there was potential for a lawsuit against a perfume company.

    It might not even have been his wife’s perfume. Perhaps the adverse reaction was actually to the scent that seems to emit from Mr. Goolsby himself lately; “Le Oder de Investor Fraud”.

  • Lisa’s Two Cents

    Twenty year old hair. And a eighty year old face. The makings of a slick, lawyer, politician. But I guess the gig is up. The well has run dry. They’re looking into “The Empowered Investor”.

    Something tells me, this is not the end of “Slick Thom”.

  • Guestman.

    Please tell us what the FACTS are.

  • Hal Stevens

    He says he reduced the unemployment rolls. He simply reduced what people had previously paid for by reducing the time they could get back on their feet. There is a GOD and this creep will pay. He will pay a lot more in the next life. good riddance! I place him one notch below John Edwards. 5 notches below a congressman.

  • Democraticness

    Exactly right. Thanks for explaining it.

  • Guest2020

    North Carolina’s ballot access laws make it difficult for third party candidates to get on the ballot. With it being left up to the legislators to make changes, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. After all, they would just be opening up the door to more competition for their seats.

  • Guest2020

    I know a taxi driver who picked up Mr. and Mrs. Goolsby at the airport one time. The driver had a significant allergic reaction believed to be caused by Mrs. Goolsby’s perfume. They took the driver to Mr. Goolsby’s office and had him lie down on a sofa and they made sure that he was okay. I see nothing elitist about that and it certainly doesn’t lack empathy for someone who is less fortunate.

  • Citizen Ricky

    Amen Mr. Parkinson

    It’s a shame everything seems so “hush, hush”, about his “Empowered Investor”, and it appears there will be a out-of court settlement.

    Mark Twain once said: “Better to keep your mouth shut, and let people think you are guilty, then to open it, and erase all doubt.”

    Is it possible, Thom wants to keep a few mouths from being opened ?

  • craig

    Sir: I too have called his office many times and left several voice and emails that never got returned. Poor excuse of a representative in my book.

  • NeedNewBlood

    The real sliminess here, is this transparent political ploy of Michael Lee and David Benford working with Goolsby to give Mr. Lee a leg up over Redenbaugh, since he’s been unable to make any headway of his own the past 4 times he’s run for office.
    The backroom dealings in this town are getting pretty old. People who want to get into office this bad should never be allowed near it.

  • 1889

    Thom looks like he just left a Hitlerjugend reunion.

  • guest1966

    Elizabeth may want to “treat all North Carolinians with dignity, value and respect they deserve” and that’s fine, but remember, she answers to the people of Wilmington who are the ONLY ones who can vote her in or out!

    Not just ANY North Carolinian can do that!

  • Frank

    Thom Goolsby fought his first 2 years in office tooth and nail against one of the biggest government threats to citizens in the last century, FORCED ANNEXATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw it in 2 other major cities I lived too over the last 20 years, they creep out then grab your house and double tax you! Say what you wanna but my tax bill to only New Hanover County says all i need to hear or see !!! May God bless you and your wonderful family, Semper Fi

  • Heimie Schmelter

    …Redenbaugh will NEVER, EVER get my vote. I know exactly what she’s made of and how she works!

    You people better pay close attention and KNOW the facts before placing a bet on that woman!

  • Bearcl

    I completely agree. Remember when leaders worked both sides of the aisle?

  • jeffrey

    Politicians are cancer masquerading as the cure.

  • otherguest

    I think that is exactly the point that Democraticness is trying to make!

  • Bearclaw

    I’ve made a number of calls over the past couple of years to his senate office and NEVER received a call back. He was the most unresponsive elected rep. I’ve ever experienced; not exactly a statesman. Good riddance!

  • Local Republican

    I’m sad to say two hopeful candidates I voted for and now seriously regret is Thom Goolsby and the other was Brian Berger. After looking at how the local, state and federal government has been run into the ground, first by Democrates and recently by Republicans. Having more registered Independent voters and a real third party is needed to keep this insanity in check!

  • HotDog

    Please enlighten me; what exactly has Obama done for job recovery here in NC, or anywhere else really? Last time I checked there were over 92 million unemployed Americans, and more people on disability and food stamps than ever before.

  • Old Guy

    Thank you for helping the republicans pass the first balanced budget in twenty years. We needed a break from all the crazy spending dems. Now if we can just get non partisan people working for the people and not their parties thne we can move forward in the Grand Ole North State!

  • Erlkoenig

    Great job, Senator Goolsby. God bless you.

  • Democraticness

    Obama has done more for job recovery in NC than this guy. Ridiculous he is trying to take credit as he quits. All Goolsby has done is call victims of his thievery “morons”. He just doesn’t want to bring his party down come election season because of his scandals. Makes me wonder if he is under investigation for more crimes.

  • JL0223

    They take credit for unemployment stats going down?… Now really, check the records to see if it was job creation, or people running out of benefits? That will make the stats look better also. How many left the state to find jobs in other States?… Let’s keep the blinders on, and keep voting for the same ones… Politicians do not lie!(HMM) They will only tell you what you want to hear. and some of us, are dumb enough to believe them.

  • GuestToday

    Don’t let the door hit ya . . . .
    GO, Elizabeth Redenbaugh!! Please, let’s DO turn the page!

  • SurfCityTom

    this is a political move which will allow Mr. Lee to be appointed. He then becomes the “incumbant” running for re-election.

    If you didn’t like Goolsby or his voting record, and I’m not certain how many of the Goolsby smashers actually know his specific votes, then get out and support the Democratic candidate. Make a few phone calls; donate a few dollars to her campaign; talk her up to your friends; be certain you know her position on items important to the district; and by all means get out and vote in November.

    OR, continue bashing Goolsby on this site; do nothing else; and you’ll prove as effective as the film inentive family and the downtown ballpark enthusiasts.

    He’s out; he won’t be going back for the special session in November.

    At the very least, find out where Mr. Lee stands on issues and try to find any skeletons in his closet.

  • Vog46

    With Republicans quitting tier posts?
    Sarah Palin
    Eric Cantor
    Thom Goolsby?

    I don’t get it………


  • BAM

    Goolsby has represented of the people of his district well. He has performed well and we are better off now because of him. Enjoy your rest, it is well deserved

  • Edward Parkinson II

    Having been in Mr. Goolsby’s presence on at least five social occasions, I found him to be a pretentious, pernicious, and arrogant man. Beneath his polished and carefully-contrived natty appearance is an elitist without the slightest empathy for North Carolina’s less fortunate.

    He is a shallow, materialistic phony, one of the worst I have ever had the misfortune to meet, and I have met many.

    I am happy he will no longer have ” . . .the honor of a lifetime to serve the people . . .” I laughed out loud when I read this lie.

    All he ever served was himself and his enormous ego, just as he was serving himself in his “financial advisor” role. Good bye Mr. Goolsby.

  • tsk tsk

    I would like to thank Thom Goolsby for two things:
    1. Not running for re-election (He knew he had no chance.)
    2. Quitting. (He can no longer embarrass this state, this county, or the GOP with his lack of maturity. I guess he realized he may not be as smart as he thinks he is.
    Do us all a favor Thom. Stay out of the limelight. You’ve embarrassed yourself enough.

  • 10101

    I wasn’t entirely unhappy with Goolsby but this “enjoy your well deserved rest” stuff really annoys me.

    The voters expect the people they vote into office to serve for a complete term, not just until they don’t feel like being there anymore. A rest is only well deserved if a person completes his or her task, but most certainly not before then.

  • K Larson

    I am curious as to why you let Elizabeth use this story to promote her campaign but did not extend the same courtesy to Micheal. Shouldn’t the public be given the opportunity to hear from both sides? You allowed her to explain her agenda (and to smear republicans) but not him. It came across to me as media favoritism.


    Kinda sounds like a description of your President!

  • The Sheriff

    Even that mice knew Titanic was gonna sink…

    Just saying…


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