By Christopher Moore

The phone rang. State Senator Roy Goodman wanted to talk on this day in the fall of 2000 about what he had recently done, in specific terms, for his district. I was surprised, given that an hour or so ago he had come to our conference table to tackle the same topic.

Evidently he felt he had not been specific enough about bread-and-butter district issues. He was impressive in his doggedness, his eagerness to share what had been crossed off his legislative to-do list.

The call made sense. Goodman was in the midst of a tough, final re-election race. The opponent: Liz Krueger, a community activist with unanticipated pizzazz as a candidate. She had a richly varied background, including work with the Community Food Resource Center. Some thought her resumé was less impressive than that of Goodman, a former mayoral candidate and GOP stalwart for generations on the East Side. Others found impressive a woman who had been doing something about feeding the hungry.

That was the thing about this contest: how hard it was to pick a favorite. They were both compelling characters that had given much to the city. That’s why so many of us, sitting on the sidelines of this grand debate, had mixed emotions in those days. We hated to see either candidate lose. This was the opposite of most elections, when voters carefully calibrate the lesser of two evils.

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