Dr. Raymond E. Smith Jr. has announced his intention to run for Goldsboro’s mayor in the city’s
2023 municipal election.
Smith, a Goldsboro native and Goldsboro High School graduate, said he is running for mayor
because he wants to use his extensive governmental and public service experience to help restore
He said restoring the city starts with bringing unity back to the city council and reviving the sense of
community, camaraderie, cooperation, and consensus that existed during the administration of
Mayors Hal Plonk and Al King.
“We can maintain status quo and continue to be a reactionary entity that exists just to resolve
issues, or we can be visionaries that dare to be bold and creative in generating exponential growth,
employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and economic prosperity for our community,” Smith
said. “Our focus should always be forward which will require the total inclusion of all communities.”
Smith was elected as the first African American to serve in the At-Large seat of the Wayne County
Public Schools Board of Education from 2017-2019 before being elected to the N.C. House of
Representatives in 2019 following the retirement of Rep. Larry Bell. Dr. Smith’s service on the board
included time as the board’s Vice Chairman.
He said his experience on the Board of Education helped him understand the correlation between
education, poverty, and crime, and that improving the educational status of the central attendance
area schools will help address poverty and crime in the city.
“I am willing to work with our board of education to ensure that we are providing our children in the
city attendance area of Goldsboro with the best possible educational opportunities available,” Smith
said. “We must be intentional in our efforts to rescue and revitalize what is referred to now as
central attendance area schools. As we attempt to resolve the issues of crime and poverty, we must
simultaneously improve our system of education.”
According to Dr. Smith, improving the pay and working conditions within the various city
departments will also help achieve the goal of a “Grander Goldsboro.”
Smith’s contributions to Goldsboro are not limited to his time on the Wayne County Public Schools
Board of Education, but extend to the Goldsboro/Wayne Transportation Authority, having served as
the agency’s first Executive Director. Its formation was thanks to his work with the N.C. Department
of Transportation to bring a public transportation system to the city.
Along with turning around the Goldsboro city council, the city’s schools and crime rate, Smith said
he wants to use his experience in the N.C. House of Representatives to address the city’s economic
state. That experience was four years in the N.C. House from 2019-2023. Smith, a U.S. Army veteran
himself, also wants to grow the city’s relationship with the Military and specifically Seymour Johnson
Air Force Base, which calls Goldsboro home.
Dr. Smith is not shy in expressing his pride in the city of Goldsboro and calls the city a very special
place that is near and dear to his heart. He said he hopes the city’s residents will join him in creating
a “Grander Goldsboro” this fall during the city’s municipal election.