Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) will not run for reelection in November.
The two-term legislator announced his decision in an editorial in The Wave newspaper, citing his desire to spend more time with his family, including his newborn son Gabriel. He confirmed it in an email to constituents on Friday.
“My last 5 years as your Assemblyman, serving our families in southern Queens and Rockaway have been the greatest and most rewarding of my entire life,” he wrote in the email. “This was a difficult decision, but I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career and hopefully spending more time at home with my new son and entire family.”
Goldfeder, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, was first elected to the State Assembly in a special election in September 2011 to replace Audrey Pheffer, who resigned to become County Clerk. A Democrat, Goldfeder was reelection without opposition in 2012 and 2014. He rose to prominence in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which left nearly his entire district underwater and affected nearly every one of his constituents. Goldfeder’s own home in Far Rockaway was flooded in the storm. He became a harsh critic of the Bloomberg administration’s and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s responses to the storm, as well as the Parks Department over the delays in rebuilding Rockaway Beach’s boardwalk.
Goldfeder was a strong supporter of reactivating the Rockaway Beach LIRR line and eliminating tolls at the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Goldfeder’s retirement opens up the 23rd Assembly District, which is considered one of the few competitive districts in the borough. It includes most of the Rockaway Peninsula including the Orthodox Jewish community in Far Rockaway, as well as Belle Harbor and Breezy Point and communities to the north including Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindewood and Ozone Park.