Town Justice, four-year term
Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence, Reform
About him: Mr. Goggins, 55, is a 1978 Mattituck High School graduate and an Air Force veteran with degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Bridgeport Law School. He opened a private law practice in Mattituck more than 25 years ago, focusing on criminal defense and also handling matrimonial, real estate and other matters.
Mr. Goggins lost a bid for Town Justice to longtim incumbent William Price in 2013.
His pitch: As an attorney practicing law in various courtrooms across Suffolk County, he says he’s noticed the court in Southold has not updated its administrative functions in more than 20 years. He pointed to the lack of a computer in the courtroom and the backlog of paper files as creating as something to improve on. He also supports moving the Justice Court to its own building. He said his experience handling cases of “abuse and neglect, contract disputes, accident claims, real estate transactions, product liability cases, evictions, criminal defense, insurance claims and real property disputes” make him uniquely qualified for the post. He stressed that as the managing partner of his own firm he has the managing and accounting background for administration of the court.
In his words: “Our town needs an attorney with civil and criminal litigation trial experience and most importantly, our town needs a judge that will be tough on crime.”
Party lines: Democrat, Sustainable Southold
About him: Mr. Hughes, 66, has a private practice in Southold and more than 30 years’ legal experience. He has degrees from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and St. John’s University School of Law. A former New York City firefighter, he said he began his law career working as both an investigator and prosecutor of government fraud and abuse in New York City. He has also worked as an administrator in government offices within the justice system and acted as assigned counsel for people who could not afford attorney services, he said. Most of Mr. Hughes’ more recent experience has been in the area of criminal defense. He is also the chairman of the Southold Town Board of Ethics.
His pitch: During his campaign Mr. Hughes, a registered blank, has stressed the importance of his political independence, which he has said would make him a fair and effective justice. He believes his experience investigating and prosecuting fraud makes him an ideal candidate following the conviction of a town court clerk on a grand larceny charge earlier this year. He also said his administrative background can be put to use improving the way the court is run. He said he would close his private practice to be a full-time judge. He also supports moving the Justice Court to its own building.
In his words: “My election will go a long way to restoring the needed credibility in our court. My independence and integrity are well known.”