|Member of the Ohio House of Representatives|
from the 87th district
November 16, 2016 – November 14, 2017
|Preceded by||Jeffrey McClain|
|Succeeded by||Riordan McClain|
February 14, 1984|
Morrow County, Ohio, United States
(m. 2012; div. 2018)
|Alma mater||Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A.)|
Wesley Goodman (born February 14, 1984) is an American Republican politician who served as the Ohio State Representative for the 87th District from 2016 until his resignation in 2017, following revelations of his numerous homosexual extramarital affairs. His former district consists of the Crawford, Morrow and Wyandot counties, as well as portions of the Marion and Seneca counties.
On November 14, 2017, Goodman resigned his seat following alleged "inappropriate behavior" in his state office, later revealed as extramarital sexual activity with a man. Following his resignation, numerous reports of Goodman's secret homosexual life and allegations of sexual misconduct were published.
Goodman was born into a family of farmers and first responders, and is a native of Cardington, Ohio. He graduated in 2006 from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he majored in politics and government.
Goodman worked briefly for former Ohio senator and attorney general Mike DeWine before joining Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) staff when he won the election to represent his district in Congress. By 2013 he served as the managing director of the Conservative Action Project.
In 2015, he was accused of sexually assaulting an 18 year old man. This was reported to Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, who confronted Goodman about the allegation and referred to other "similar incidents". Perkins withdrew his political support but Goodman did not withdraw his candidacy for the Ohio legislature, and not long afterwards he was elected. These incidents were apparently never reported to the police and did not become public knowledge until after his resignation.
On October 2, 2016, State Representative Jeffrey McClain stepped down prior to the end of his term to take a position in the administration of Ohio Governor John Kasich. Goodman entered the race to succeed him, and in the Republican primary, defeated with 41% of the vote former State Representative Steve Reinhard, who had represented the same seat from 2001 to 2008. He was unopposed in the general election. His term began on January 4, 2017.
Goodman described himself as a supporter of "traditional marriage", having told constituents that "The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting."
Scandal and Resignation
Goodman resigned his office November 14, 2017, after a non-staffer witnessed him and an unnamed adult male having consensual sexual relations in Goodman's office. The Speaker of the Ohio House, a Republican, Cliff Rosenberger, described the incident as "inappropriate behavior related to his state office".
Revelations of Secret Gay Life
Additional accusations, including allegations of sexual misconduct, against Goodman were published after his resignation. People involved in conservative groups reported that Goodman would initially send them suggestive and flirtatious messages via text and Facebook and then switch to Snapchat, where he would send sexually explicit photographs and messages. One man reported that Goodman sent him a Snapchat video of him masturbating. While messaging his potential lovers, Goodman often stated that his wife was sleeping or out of town. Goodman also solicited homosexual partners on Craigslist and engaged in intimate sexual activity with numerous men he met through the website. According to numerous reports, Goodman continued sending suggestive and explicit messages after his resignation.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations
In 2015, an 18-year old college student accused Goodman of fondling him while he was sleeping. The student, who was attending a fundraiser for Goodman's political campaigns along with his mother and stepfather, claimed that Goodman invited him to his hotel room and unzipped his pants and fondled his penis. The student woke up at 4 a.m. to find his pants unzipped and Goodman's hands on his crotch and eventually fled the room to report the incident to his mother and stepfather. His stepfather reported the incident to Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, who expressed disappointment at Goodman's actions, suspended him from the council, and discouraged him from running for public office in Ohio. However, Perkins did not go public with the incident. Former Ohio house speaker Cliff Rosenberger expressed disappointment that the Family Research Council did not report the fondling incident to him.
In 2012, Goodman married Bethany Peck, an assistant director of the March for Life and a former staffer for Bob Latta. They have one child together. Goodman and his wife have since divorced, with the reason being his infidelity, and she has full legal and physical custody of the child. As of June 2018, she has reverted to using her maiden name.
- reports, WiG. "Evangelical Republican lawmaker resigns after being caught having sex with another man in his office". Wisconsin Gazette. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- "EXCLUSIVE: 30 Sources Expose Sexually Explicit Evidence of Harassment by Ohio GOP Rep. Wes Goodman". IJR - Independent Journal Review. 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- "Q & A with Wes Goodman- candidate for Ohio 87th district representative". Morrow County Sentinel. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- Borchardt, Jackie (November 15, 2017). "Ohio Rep. Wes Goodman resigns over 'inappropriate behavior'". cleveland.com.
- Griffin, Pitt (November 16, 2017). "Christian 'Family Values' Conservative Resigns After Sex in the Office With Another Man". Daily Kos. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
- "Goodman announces bid for Republican nod for 87th district". The Morrow County Sentinel. June 30, 2015.
- "87th District Representative Wes Goodman resigns". The Courier. November 15, 2017.
- "Ohio State House Rep. Wes Goodman resigns after ‘inappropriate behavior’". WCMH-TV, NBC (Columbus, Ohio). November 15, 2017.
- Kindy, Kimberley (November 17, 2017). "How a conservative group dealt with a fondling charge against a rising GOP star". Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- "Goodman seeks seat in Ohio house". The Marion Star. June 15, 2015.
- Oppenheim, Maya (November 16, 2017). "Anti-LGBT politician resigns after being 'caught having sex with man in his office'". The Independent. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Hull, Calen. "30 Sources Expose Sexually Explicit Evidence of Harassment by Ohio GOP Rep. Wes Goodman". IJR.
- Borchardt, Jackie. "Ohio legislator Wes Goodman led secret gay life, made unwelcome advances to younger men, people who knew him say". cleveland.com.
- Gremore, Graham (2017-11-21). "Creepy screenshots from disgraced congressman Wes Goodman's Snapchat account circulate online". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
- Cullen, Terence. "Anti-gay Ohio state lawmaker was 'all over Craigslist' looking for encounters with other men - NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
- "EXCLUSIVE: GOP Lawmaker Who Resigned Amid Sex Scandal Still Sexually Harassing Young Men". www.mediaite.com. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "How a conservative group dealt with a fondling charge against a rising GOP star". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
- Chow, Andy. "Rosenberger Disappointed Group Never Told Him About Goodman's Alleged Sexual Assault". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
- "Bethany Goodman, Assistant Director". March for Life.
- "Bethany Goodman: SBA List Young Leader Award Recipient". March for Life. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
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