Meet The Candidates: Nancy Goroff For Congress

Lisa Finn
·4 min read

This November, Long Island residents will be hitting the polls to exercise their right to vote. While voters will be electing the president on Election Day, November 3, they will also be choosing their local representatives. In New York, state and federal races will also be on the ballot.

Democrat Nancy Goroff is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin for his 1st Congressional District seat.

The 1st Congressional District includes most of central and eastern Suffolk County, including the East End, Brookhaven Town, and most of Smithtown. View the district map here.

Goroff, 52, of Stony Brook is married to her husband Chris and has two grown children, Grace and Anz. She has an BS from Harvard University and a PhD in chemistry from UCLA. She is a scientist, has been a professor of chemistry at Stony Brook University for 23 years since 1997, served as Associate Provost from 2014 to 2016 and was chair of the chemistry department from 2017 to 2019.

In anticipation of the election, Patch asked candidates in the contested races to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as Election Day draws near.

Check out the full Q&A below:

Nancy Goroff

Why are you seeking elective office?

Suffolk County deserves a representative who will trust science and use facts and evidence to tackle the serious problems our community faces, like combating the deadly pandemic, lowering prescription drug costs, protecting healthcare coverage for those with preexisting conditions, and addressing climate change.

The single most pressing issue facing our nation/state/community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

There is nothing more important than fixing the public health crisis we are in. Here in Suffolk County, we’ve lost over 2,000 lives to COVID-19, all because President Trump ignored scientists and experts, and put his political agenda before our safety.

In Congress, I will follow the science, trust public health experts, and push for federal resources and an organized national response to the pandemic, including testing, treatment, and PPE.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidate seeking this post?

Lee Zeldin said that Trump’s handling of the pandemic in New York was "phenomenal”. I believe the President has been reckless and incompetent.

Lee Zeldin has voted to take away Americans’ healthcare by repealing the ACA, without any plan for what should replace it. I believe we need to protect the ACA and lower prescription drug prices.
Lee Zeldin has voted countless times against women’s reproductive rights. I believe a woman's choice and the decisions she makes about her health are between her and her doctor.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)

Lee Zeldin has failed on so many issues for Long Island. He stands on the wrong side of the fight against climate change and coastal erosion. He voted against restoring the SALT tax deduction, which would directly help the people of this district. He has pandered to the president at every opportunity while not holding town halls or listening to constituents. Lee Zeldin could not be more out of step with the community.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

We must address the deadly pandemic with federal resources for state and local governments, protect the ACA and health coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, lower the cost of prescription drug prices, and set aggressive targets to combat climate change and solve our climate crisis.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

I raised my two daughters in Suffolk County and have taught chemistry at Stony Brook University for 23 years. When my kids were in high school I found myself a single mom, working full-time, and having to make sure that I was there for my children, no matter what. As the chair of the chemistry department I led a department with more than 300 people. I had to make tough decisions, and then be ready to defend those decisions to the people who cared about them. In Congress, I will use my experience to listen to all stakeholders, develop real-life solutions, and build consensus to get those solutions put into action.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

Being a good leader means being a good listener. Ask lots of questions and try to learn something from each person you meet.

This article originally appeared on the Three Village Patch