Challenger Nancy Goroff is seeking congressman Lee Zeldin’s seat in the House of Representatives. Goroff, running on the Democratric ticket, is a scientist who has taught and done research at Stony Brook University for the last 23 years. She has also lived in Suffolk County for the last 23 years, raising her two teenage daughters.
At Stony Brook, Goroff held the title of chair for a 300-person department with a multi-million-dollar budget.
“That means I had to be ready to deal with whatever came across my desk each day, and had to be ready to make tough decisions and then defend
those decisions by the people who care about them,” said Goroff, continuing
on to say that she also runs a research lab. “I developed new materials for
solar energy. I had to come up with innovative research ideas based on
facts and evidence and then pitched those ideas to get support, and then
do the research and then figure out what it all means [and] looking at
evidence and analyzing it to come up with a solution.”
Goroff said that helping her students make a better future for themselves — whether in the classroom or in the lab — has been her favorite part about being at the university.
“I worked really hard to make the university a better place. When I was associate provost, an interim dean, and instructor of chemistry, that same drive is what drives me now,” she said. ”What the people of Stony Brook and the people of this district need is somebody who is going to go down to Washington and try to make things better there. It is the same motivation for me to see I need to get involved with the national level.”
Discussing her platform, Goroff highlighted that effectively addressing the public health crisis is atop the priority list.
“How do we get out of the pandemic and how do we get out from the economic crisis that has resulted from the pandemic? That is my top
priority; we need to get ahead of and a hold of the pandemic, which means
sending very clear messages about the importance of wearing masks in
public, having testing that is available, fast, free, so that we can actually
use testing both for contact tracing, which is really important, and also
make sure people aren’t going to work or to school if they actually are contagious,” she said.
As the pandemic is directly relevant to the economic crisis, too, Goroff
said that federal monies are absolutely needed on Long Island. She pointed
out that the federal government is the only entity that can financially assist
the local municipalities as well as the school districts.
Thirdly, Goroff talked about climate change, which she said is the
initial motivation for her joining the race.
“It has the same or bigger potential over time to be disruptive to our
lives and the lives of people all over the globe [as the pandemic],” Goroff
said. “Sea-level rise, coastal erosion, extreme weather events: those are
our biggest national security risks because of movement of people
around the globe, because of changing climates and droughts and floods
around the globe.”
Goroff has been present in the Advance’s readership. She has demonstrated at a USPS rally in August in Bellport as well as a Black Lives Matter movement in early June (also in Bellport). Her team has also disseminated advertisements of her campaign through commercials, phone banks, and other methods throughout the district.