With more than 61 percent of the vote, Andy Goodell, R-C-I Chautauqua County, is going back to Albany
On Tuesday, Goodell defeated Dr. Rudy Mueller, D-Lakewood, in the race for the 150th Assembly District. Goodell received 28,810 votes and Mueller received 18,139 votes, which was 39 percent.
Goodell said it is very gratifying seeing so many people helping - volunteering their time and donating money - with his campaign.
''I'm deeply thankful for all the people who helped me in my campaign,'' he said.
Goodell said he appreciates the clean campaign run by his opponent. Mueller had served on the County Legislature from 2008 to 2011.
''I thought Rudy was a first-class candidate,'' he said. ''He is highly respected as a physician and as a county legislator.''
In Goodell's first victory for the Assembly seat two years ago he ran against Nancy Bargar. Goodell received 56 percent of the vote. Goodell took over the seat, which was vacated by Bill Parment, who had held the Assembly position since 1982.
The election between Goodell and Bargar was more hotly contested. There was tension from campaign techniques to the debate over the Independence Party line, which Bargar lost after a court challenge by Goodell over the handling of Parment's declination of the party's nomination.
''Emotionally it is much more difficult when going through a negative campaign,'' Goodell said. ''Rudy ran a more positive campaign.''
Mueller, who also ran on the Working Families Party line, said he wishes Goodell the best in his return to Albany.
''(Goodell) obviously cares about this county, so do I. We want the county to move forward,'' he said. ''There are a lot of tough issues out there. If he asks for my help, I'll give it to him.''
Mueller said he was proud of his campaign and being able to give people a choice on Election Day.
''You know I tried, but the people made their decision. At least they had a choice, but that is why we have elections so people can make their choice,'' he said. ''It was a pretty positive campaign, no name calling. I tried to run a clean election. I don't think there was any dirty politics in it.''
Goodell said his real focus in Albany is creating a bipartisan coalition to be more competitive with other states in creating jobs.
''I'm not there to play a partisan political game. I'm there to represent all of the people of Chautauqua County,'' he said.
Goodell said by supporting the best legislation proposed by either side of the aisle, he is able to gain support for the bills he sponsors or co-sponsors. He said he had three times as many bills passed than the average Democratic freshman, which is the majority party in the Assembly.
Goodell also said by partnering with state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, the pair will continue to work to get the job done in Albany.
''Being able to work with her is very, very helpful for the residents in Chautauqua County,'' he said.
The county Board of Elections reported there were 78,214 total voters in the county. Of those registered, a total of 35 percent are Democrats and 33 percent are Republicans.
Goodell is a former Chautauqua County Executive and is the managing partner of the law firm of Goodell and Rankin. He is married to Lisa Goodell and has three grown daughters, a stepson and several grandchildren.