The race in Nassau County's 10th Legislative District pits a political newcomer against an incumbent who is a relative newcomer.
First-term Democratic Legis. Judi Bosworth of Great Neck is being challenged by Republican Garry Stark, a family-practice doctor from Saddle Rock who is not only making his first run for office, but is also getting involved in politics for the first time.
Both candidates agree that high property taxes is the paramount issue. And both oppose consolidation of their area's fire, park and other special districts.
Stark, 60, who plans to continue his practice while serving part time as a legislator, said, "The issues right now are the severely high taxes that are out of control."
He will not be "in a position to know where they can tighten their belt," he added, until he takes office and has access to more information.
Because property values have dropped, Stark said, the county should do a reassessment to save residents on property taxes.
Bosworth, 61, a former New York City second-grade teacher who served 16 years on the Great Neck school board, worked for more than two years as special projects coordinator for former Assemb. Thomas DiNapoli, who is now state comptroller.
"When I ran, I talked about the importance of providing constituent services, and I've worked very hard to do that," Bosworth said.
Her office has organized seminars on topics such as appealing property taxes and emergency preparedness and a health fair, she said.
She also introduced legislation to improve public notification procedures when the county conducted aerial mosquito spraying to combat West Nile virus.
But she added, "The issue that is very much on most people's minds is the burden of high property taxes, and we've been working very hard to address that. Six out of the last seven budgets that the legislature has passed have had a tax freeze. We have to do whatever we can to expand the tax base. I am very supportive of the Lighthouse project."
Stark, however, opposes developer Charles Wang's proposal for Mitchel Field because "it's too big, and I'm anti-traffic."