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Feb 8, 2018 9:18 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Republican Committee Selects Amos Goodman As New Chairman

Amos Goodman during his 2015 campaign for the Suffolk County Legislature.  Jaime Zahl
Feb 12, 2018 5:16 PM

The East Hampton Town Republican Party Committee unanimously elected Amos Goodman to be its next party chairman on Wednesday, February 7.

Mr. Goodman, who had made a play to become GOP chairman in 2015 as well, inherits a party reeling from two straight drubbings at the polls that left the Democrats with an absolute majority on the five-member Town Board—though Councilman David Lys, who was recently appointed by the Democratic majority, is a former Republican who has applied to switch his registration—and a 7-2 majority on the Town Trustees.

Mr. Goodman, who works as a corporate management consultant, noted that lopsided condition in a statement about his ascendancy to the party’s top post.

“The days of single-party rule in East Hampton are numbered,” Mr. Goodman said. “East Hampton deserves better. Our town government continues to squander critical resources, and extort town residents with onerous and bad-faith impediments to even the simplest of activities. It’s strangling the town, hollowing out our community and it’s going to stop … We need new ideas, fresh leadership and a clear, inclusive vision for the future. That is what we will deliver starting tonight.”

Mr. Goodman, 34, burst onto the local political scene in 2015 when he ran as a relative unknown for a seat on the County Legislature. He ultimately lost that race to Legislator Bridget Fleming, a Democrat from Bridgehampton.

He will succeed Reggie Cornelia, who announced he would step down from the chairmanship he had held for two years after the dismal results of the November elections. Mr. Cornelia had taken over from Tom Knobel after the party’s poor showing in 2015.

The Republicans have seen few electoral victories in the last few town elections. Democrats swept the Town Board elections and secured broad majorities on the Town Trustees in both 2015 and 2017. Registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans on voter rolls in the town nearly 2-to-1, though Republican turnout and the choices of large numbers of registered voters with no political affiliation have made the difference in the major races since the last time the GOP won a majority on the Town Board in 2011.

Mr. Goodman’s first political battle will be over the Town Council seat to which Mr. Lys was appointed last month. The seat will be on the November ballot for special election to complete the last year of the term vacated when Peter Van Scoyoc took over the supervisor’s office in January.

“Obviously, we don’t have that luxury this time, and if the broader polling about a Democratic wave is borne out, it will be a challenge,” Mr. Goodman said. “Single-party rule almost always leads to poor results, regardless of the party in question. Look at [Washington, D.C.]. Or look at Southampton when it had a 5-0 [Republican-Conservative] board some years ago. This town needs to have proper accountability and competition.”

Mr. Goodman said it was too early to talk about who the party might post to challenge Mr. Lys—who will still technically be a registered Republican until after the November election—but said the committee is already talking to “a range of folks.”

The town’s Democrats will also be getting a new leader this winter, as party chairwoman Jeanne Frankl has announced her resignation. The Democratic Party committee will vote on a new chairperson later this month. Cate Rogers, who was one of the party’s considerations for appointment to the council seat ultimately given to Mr. Lys last month, is seen as the favorite for the post.

Ms. Rogers recently submitted a letter to the town resigning her seat on the Zoning Board of Appeals, to which she had been reappointed vice-chair last month. That board will now have two vacant seats with the appointment of Mr. Lys, who had been on the ZBA since 2012, to the Town Board.

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Who the hell is he?
By MelissaA (45), Sag Harbor on Feb 8, 18 9:44 AM
Not-so-famous Amos
By Pacman (232), Southampton on Feb 8, 18 10:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
Pacman wins the internet for today!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5542), HAMPTON BAYS on Feb 8, 18 10:23 AM
So when they asked for a volunteer for the position, everyone else took a step back and Amos was left standing there and chosen.

By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Feb 8, 18 1:29 PM
"extort town residents with onerous and bad-faith impediments to even the simplest of activities. It’s strangling the town, hollowing out our community and it’s going to stop"... I'm sure that makes sense to someone. Good Luck.
By harbor (384), East Hampton on Feb 13, 18 9:17 AM