For the two candidates in the North Hempstead Town supervisor's race, the issue comes down to experience -- or the lack of it.
Republican town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio and Democratic Nassau County Legis. Judi Bosworth have each leveled allegations that the other is ill-prepared to become chief executive of the town of about 226,000 people.
"Even though she says she's been in public service for a long time, she doesn't have any executive experience," said De Giorgio, 45, who has been on the town council since 2012.
Bosworth, 65, called De Giorgio's claim "amusing."
"She's not even finished with her first term as a town councilwoman," said Bosworth, who completed 16 years on the Great Neck school board and is in her third term as a county legislator.
"I know after I did my first term at the legislature, I was ready to do my second term at the legislature. I wasn't ready to run the county."
It's been an unequal fight between the two, at least in dollars.
The latest campaign finance filings show Bosworth with $208,602 in the bank, compared with De Giorgio's campaign balance of $43,116, much of which she's since spent on a last-minute fusillade of television ads set to run beginning Sunday, according to her campaign.
De Giorgio, who said she considered herself the "underdog" in the race, said it was of little importance that Bosworth has outraised and outspent her.
"We're doing just as much with a lot less," De Giorgio said. "That's my whole mantra with government. You have to be smart, spend your money, figure out what works, figure out what doesn't work, and that's what I'm doing in my campaign."
Meanwhile, De Giorgio touted her alliance with Town Clerk Leslie Gross, a Democrat running for re-election on the Republican line, as an example of the bipartisanship she would bring to the office.
"That we can run together and be supportive of each other and respect one another as elected officials is a really important thing, especially given what we just went through with the government shutdown," De Giorgio said.
Bosworth has focused her campaign on issues such as her past work on the area's aquifers, and her support of popular town programs such as Project Independence, which enables seniors to stay in their homes as they age.
"I'll certainly have my ear to the ground, to have a sense of what's right for the community," she said. "A lot of communities are different, so what's right for one community isn't necessarily right for another. You have to be cognizant of that."
Bosworth said her approach was one of consensus without acrimony, which she said differed from De Giorgio's.
"I've always been known as a consensus-builder," Bosworth said. "It doesn't mean I'm not strong. I know that there are people, like my opponent, who feel that because I have the mannerisms that I have, that I'm not tough. And that's a mistake."