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Goodell to retire from state Assembly

AP File Photo Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, argues against legislative pay raises during a December 2022 special legislative session. Goodell is announcing his retirement from the Assembly.

Assemblyman Andy Goodell announced today that he will be retiring from the state Assembly at the end of this year.

“I am extremely thankful to have been given the opportunity to represent Chautauqua County and a portion of the Seneca Nation. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, for which I am very grateful,” Goodell said.

Goodell represents all of Chautauqua County and the Allegany portion of the Seneca Nation of Indians. He was first elected in 2011, and re-elected in 2022 with over 72% of the vote.

Goodell has served as the minority floor leader in the Assembly since 2018 and coordinates all the debates for the Republicans in the Assembly. As a result of his position, Goodell reviews, analyses, and debates more legislative bills than any other assemblyman. Goodell also serves on the Governmental Operations Committee and the Social Services Committee, and previously served on the Judiciary Committee, Health Committee, and Housing Committee.

“I am forever indebted to those who helped me along the way, gave me great advice and counsel, and shared their invaluable time and insights, both at home and in Albany. Without the tremendous support of others, I would have never been successful representing our area. A special ‘thank you’ for all the love, support, and thoughtful insights and guidance from my wife, Lisa,” Goodell said. “Serving as floor leader has been very rewarding, and gave me the opportunity to work with an incredible group of thoughtful, knowledgeable, and intelligent Assembly members,” said Goodell. “I cannot adequately convey how proud I am of the Republican caucus and each of its members for their outstanding dedication and commitment to the people of the State of New York. They are truly amazing legislators. Our dedicated technical and support staff are also extraordinarily talented and capable. I am continuously impressed with their knowledge and ability, and deeply thankful for all their invaluable help and assistance.

My local and Albany office do a tremendous job helping thousands of constituents. When other Assembly offices were shut down during COVID, my district office was working overtime to help thousands of constituents seeking unemployment benefits or other assistance.

Looking back, Goodell noted that he was successful in personally lobbying then-Governor Andrew Cuomo for more than $30 million for the National Comedy Center, as well as obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars to help local organizations, highway departments, and others.

Working with former state Sen. Catharine Young and current state Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, Goodell was successful in getting a direct annual appropriation for the Chautauqua Lake Association and the Chautauqua Lake Partnership, as well as more than $2 million annually to support local tourism and lake management efforts. Goodell also successfully cosponsored with Young and Borrello special legislation to help the Grape Discovery Center promote and sell local wines; increase the number of Family Court judges in Chautauqua County; add a Jamestown City Court Judge; help the East Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department expand its membership eligibility; enable the Towns of Sherman, Mina, French Creek and Clymer to merge their local courts; authorized a special residential property tax abatement in Jamestown for home improvements; allow the use of a rifle in Chautauqua County for deer hunting; and expand Medicaid eligibility for assisted living in Chautauqua County.

He has been a strong advocate for The Resource Center and higher funding for direct care workers, the United Way 211 emergency number, local library support, a new hospital for Brooks, and increased funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs).

Goodell joins Assemblyman Joe Giglio in announcing their impending retirement.

“Joe Giglio served as my mentor in Albany, and is a great friend and a great leader,” said Goodell.

Although Assemblyman Goodell is retiring from the state Assembly at the end of the year, he intends to continue working in the private sector as an attorney, focusing on real estate transactions, wills and estates, and the general practice of law. He is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Lisa, their children and grandchildren, and numerous friends and relatives.

Goodell previously served as Chautauqua County Attorney in the 1980s, and served as Chautauqua County Executive for eight years in the 1990s. As County Executive, he cut the tax rate six years in a row and left county government with record financial strength. During his term as County Executive, Chautauqua County had the strongest economy in Western New York and enjoyed record employment levels.

Goodell has been an active leader in many community and charitable organizations, including the First Covenant Church, founding member and former officer of Chautauqua Leadership Network, past president and five-time Paul Harris Fellow for Jamestown Rotary, former secretary for Bemus Bay Pops, former co-chair of the United Way Professional Division, former president of the SUNY Fredonia Business Administration and Accounting Advisory Board, and former secretary and board member of the Chautauqua Area Girl Scout Council and co-chair of the Camp Timbercrest Capital Campaign.

Goodell has received various awards, including being named the 40th most influential person in Western New York by Buffalo Business First in 2018, the highest ranking of any Assembly Member in Western New York. He was also recognized as the 2018 “Leader of the Year” by the Chautauqua Leadership Network, and received a national recognition award from Vietnam Veterans of America for his support of area veterans. He received the Business First “40-under-40” award in 1993 for being one of the top 40 leaders under the age of 40 in Western New York.

Goodell has been repeatedly recognized by the New York Farm Bureau as part of its “Circle of Friends” for his tireless support of agricultural legislation and programs. He also consistently receives one of the highest rankings of any Assembly Member by the Business Council of New York State, Inc. and other business organizations. In 2014, he received the “Disability Advocate of the Year” award from The Resource Center, recognizing his legislative advocacy on behalf of those with disabilities. Previously, he received recognition awards for establishing the Fire Service Enhancement Program and the Chautauqua Child Care Council. In 1996, he was a recipient of the highest award from the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) for his welfare and Medicaid reform work, and was appointed by former Governor George E. Pataki to serve on a State task force to restructure employment, health, and social services.

Goodell is a magna cum laude graduate of Cornell Law School, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award for Administrative Law and was a member of the Cornell Law Review. He also has degrees in political economics and mathematics from Williams College.

Goodell was born and raised in Chautauqua County and graduated as salutatorian from Maple Grove High School. He is married to Lisa Goodell, former executive director of the Chautauqua Blind Association, and has three grown daughters, a stepson, and several grandchildren. He was a PSIA-certified ski instructor and is currently a licensed marine pilot engineer. He enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, and boating.

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