Goodman Ready To Hit The Trail

By Kitty Merrill

“My team and I have what it takes to execute a high-caliber, winning campaign, able to mobilize turnout and create momentum for Town candidates.” So said Springs resident Amos Goodman, who this week announced his candidacy for the South Fork seat on the Suffolk County Legislature

If he’s successful in his campaign, Goodman will become the first openly gay Republican on the legislature.

After a dozen years, Jay Schneiderman will be stepping away from the horseshoe at the end of this year due to term limits. Goodman is the first to announce an effort to claim the seat.

“I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for the Legislature at this critical time for Suffolk County — and for the South Fork. We deserve effective and strong representation at the County, and a leader willing to fight for our residents and our businesses,” he said in a release Sunday. “I won’t allow our Towns and residents to be further imperiled by our County Government’s reckless spending. The unwillingness and inability to fix the County’s budgetary crisis will impact the Second District especially hard. I intend to build upon Jay Schneiderman’s work, however it is time for fresh leadership for the South Fork.”

A full time East Ender for the last two years, Goodman came out east for the first time when he was just four days old – “My grandparents lived here ” — he said on Monday. He’s been a part time resident all his life.

Goodman is described as “an accomplished business and political leader” in the release heralding his bid for office. He is Chairman of Forward Long Island, a Political Action Committee which played a prominent role in a number of state races in the 2014 election, and is a member of the Springs Community Advisory Council, the Maidstone Gun Club, and other civic and fraternal groups.

With extensive experience building businesses and creating jobs, especially in the aerospace and defense sectors, Goodman has worked to secure investments in companies that provide life-saving technologies to the military, including armor, communications, and intelligence.

The campaign intends to raise and spend upwards of $200,000 on this race, a figure Goodman said “will ensure we can defeat the forces of the status-quo, effectively organize, aggressively challenge any potential opponent, and secure victory in November.”

The Campaign announced that Goodman has secured the strong support of key town and county Republican leaders and committee members. In addition to seeking the Republican nomination, Goodman will also seek cross-party endorsement on the Conservative and Independence lines.

“All four committees in the district (EH, SH, Brookhaven, and Shelter Island) — as well as the County GOP — have been very supportive of my candidacy, and believe I have what it takes to win the seat,” he said Sunday via email. “They believe that my focus on fiscal matters — more than anything else — will resonate, and that I have the drive and temperament to be a highly effective candidate — and Legislator.”

“Amos is the ideal candidate for this district, able to connect with voters and effectively articulate the fiscally responsibly principles we stand for,” County GOP chair John Jay LaValle said. “His proven private sector experience and engaging personality make him a highly impressive, and formidable, candidate. I am confident he has what it takes to win, and to be a strong leader in the Legislature. I am proud to endorse his candidacy.”

Southampton Town Republican Committee Chair William Wright added, “Amos just gets it. He will be a tremendous asset to our potential slate of candidates, and will be the fighter Southampton needs in Hauppauge.” And East Hampton GOP Chairman Tom Knobel offered, “I am honored that someone of Amos’s caliber is willing to come forward and serve our community. He will make a highly effective Legislator.”

East Hampton Republicans were poised to host their formal screening for legislative candidates tonight, with other districts scheduling theirs later in the season.

Goodman hasn’t screened before the EH GOP yet, but has met with many individuals. “I don’t imagine you’d see such strong statements from LaValle, Knobel, and Wright if they had doubts about the screenings. That said, I take nothing for granted and am looking forward to earning the support of every committee member — and voter,” he said. “The County convention is not until May, when I expect to formally receive the nomination. I am not aware of any challengers from inside the GOP, but of course anything is possible.”

The Second Legislative District spans a wide area of Eastern Suffolk County, including the entirety of the Towns of the Southampton, East Hampton, Shelter Island, and a portion of Brookhaven.

Democrats have yet to hint at their hopefuls, and tend to host candidate screenings later in the year. So far, no one has formally announced a bid, though the name of another Springs resident, Zach Cohen, has been bandied. Whoever comes forward, Goodman says he’s ready. “This election will be about the issues, and you can expect us debate whomever emerges as the Democratic nominee forcefully, but fairly,” he concluded.