Publication: The East Hampton Press

By Laura Weir

Although Suffolk County Republicans are not expected to hold their nominating convention until May, Amos Goodman, a financial consultant from Springs, has emerged as a likely choice to run for the County Legislature’s 2nd District seat, to be vacated at the end of this year by Jay Schneiderman of Montauk.Mr. Schneiderman, a member of the Independence Party, has occupied the seat for 12 years and is term-limited.

Mr. Goodman, 31, a graduate of the University of Chicago and Georgetown, announced his candidacy this week and has received vocal support from Suffolk GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle.

“I don’t expect any surprises between now and May,” Mr. Goodman said Sunday. “I don’t know if anyone will come up. Certainly they’re within their right, but I will make the case that I am the most qualified candidate. I don’t relish the idea of some sort of primary, but it if happens, it happens.”

This will be Mr. Goodman’s first time running for political office. Since becoming involved in several state races last year as chair of a political action committee called Forward Long Island, he said he was able to gain a greater understanding of the machinations and daily working of politics, such as raising campaign money. “It was helpful for me because I, sort of, got a dry run of how to run a political campaign,” he said.

Mr. Goodman said he expects to spend upward of $200,000 on the Suffolk County Legislature campaign this year.

The Suffolk County Democratic Committee has not yet announced potential candidates for Mr. Schneiderman’s seat. Zachary Cohen, a Springs resident who ran on the Democratic ticket and narrowly lost to Bill Wilkinson in 2011 in the race for East Hampton Town supervisor, said recently that he is considering a run for Mr. Schneiderman’s seat. The legislative district spans from East Moriches to Montauk Point and includes Shelter Island.

Born in New York City, Mr. Goodman moved to Springs with his family when he was a child but they later moved to Los Angeles, where he attended high school.

Since moving back to Springs more than two years ago, Mr. Goodman has immersed himself in the community, joining several clubs and organizations, and taking an interest in local government.

“I can’t call myself a local, but my roots here are deep. I caught my first fish at Louse Point,” he said. “Home is where the heart is, and my heart is here.”

Getting the East End its fair share is one of the main reasons Mr. Goodman said he’s running for the legislative seat. He expects to spend a great deal of time working on ways to improve the local economy.

“People are not aware of what a big spender the county is,” he said. “I think fiscal issues will be a big part of the campaign.”

Mr. Goodman said local businesses are hurting and good jobs are hard to find on the East End. He’s also concerned that the area is losing its identity. “I don’t want this to be a place that is just a stomping ground for weekenders and summer people from the city,” he said. “Certainly they have a place here, but this is a distinctive community.”

The chairs of both South Fork Republican committees agree that Mr. Goodman should be the party’s choice in November. He “will be the fighter Southampton needs in Hauppauge,” Southampton Town Republican Party Chairman William Wright said in a prepared statement.

“He will make a highly effective legislator,” East Hampton Republican Committee Chairman Tom Knobel added.

Mr. Goodman, who is openly gay, said the party leadership at all levels is well aware of that and is supportive of him. He said he doesn’t want his sexual orientation to be a distraction in the election.

“It’s probably the least interesting thing I am,” he said. “It’s not a secret, but it’s one of 20 things I am. I’m not embarrassed about it. It’s not something I have to hide, but it’s not something I have to telegraph at every turn.”