Democratic Rep. Neal Goodman is the latest legislative retirement

    The Pennsylvania House chamber. Image via Flickr Commons

    State Rep. Neal P. Goodman, a nine-term Democrat from Schuylkill County’s coal country, is the latest lawmaker to announce they won’t be seeking re-election in 2020.

    Speaking exclusively to his hometown Pottsville Republican-Herald on Monday, Goodman, 62, said the decision to step away from the House didn’t come easily.

    “Now is the time to announce because, shortly after Thanksgiving, people start thinking about nominating petitions and things like that,” he said. “So I think this is the best time to make an announcement like this,” Goodman told the newspaper.

    Goodman, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1982 to 1986, is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University. He was elected to this 123rd District seat in 2003, taking over for former Rep. Edward J. Lucyk, for whom he’d worked as a senior aide.

    Goodman is Democratic Caucus administrator, a junior leadership position, and sits on the House Rules Committee. He told the newspaper that he plans to work hard through his last day in office.

    “I’ve been in office for 17 years and I’ve only missed three days of work, and that was to attend funerals,” he told the Republican-Herald. “I take this job extremely seriously. My people showed up for work and so did I. For this last year, I’m not going to change anything. I’m not going to quit until the last day.”

    Goodman hasn’t faced a challenger since 2010, when he won with 65 percent of the vote. His voting record matches that of the House Democrats conservative blue dog wing, outside of a few votes such as supporting a bill in 2018 to restrict domestic abusers’ access to guns.

    Goodman the fourth lawmaker to announce this month that he will not be seeking re-election in 2020. So far, Reps. Steve Barrar, R-Delaware; Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, and Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, have also announced plans to retire.

    *This story was updated on Wednesday Nov. 27 with additional details.

    John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. He's been covering Pennsylvania politics for more than 20 years and most recently served as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Micek's commentary is syndicated to more than 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. And he's a regular contributor to a host of broadcast outlets in Pennsylvania and abroad.