Election Day decisions will shape our future at national, state and community levels
It seems that every activity of daily life in the post-Sandy era -- from eating meals and getting a shower to buying gas -- has required endless ingenuity, resourcefulness and patience.
Now we need to list voting as one of the activities that may require some good old New York can-do. This is a civic duty that cannot be postponed until a less turbulent time. Please do it.
Tomorrow, we have an opportunity to vote for president, a U.S. senator, members of Congress, the State Senate and Assembly, and judges. There are also special elections Tuesday for supervisors in Babylon and Brookhaven, and for the 12th District of the Nassau County Legislature.
Nationally, this election is pivotal on a long list of issues: jobs, the economy, the future of the Supreme Court, the solvency of Medicare and Social Security, and national defense, to name a few.
There's also the matter of how public officials manage a crisis. This much is certain: If we pass up the opportunity to vote -- even for the offices way at the bottom of the ballot -- we lose our chance to pick the right person to respond in a storm.
It's not yet totally clear how election workers on Long Island will handle the disruption from Sandy. Most of the voting places are in schools, which have been closed.
In Suffolk, the plan is this: Even if a polling place has no power, as long as it has not been structurally damaged, it will be open. Only a few polling places will be closed, with voting moved elsewhere. Watch our news pages and newsday.com for details. In Nassau, the plan will also move some polling places to a couple of super sites, with voting for more than the usual number of election districts.
If you're in doubt, the best bet is to go to your regular polling place and take directions to the new one. Both counties are also extending hours for voting in person at Mineola and Yaphank.
Voting is going to be tougher. But look at it this way: People have been tweeting each other about where to get on line for gas or generators. We need to be just as vigilant and determined about voting in this critical election.
Mitt Romney's story is a tale of success: in business, in righting the Salt Lake City Olympics and in governing Massachusetts. He has earned our endorsement because he is uniquely qualified to balance the nation's books and help create jobs.
In doing so, however, he must ensure the federal government continues to care for all people. As superstorm Sandy shows, Washington has an important role in all our lives.
Romney has some flaws, and we don't agree with him on many social issues. He has wavered, and the plans he has put forward to deal with the nation's problems have lacked specifics.
But we are reading this as a willingness to fight for what his constituents want and an ability to compromise to get it, rather than a narrow ideology. Newsday endorses Romney.
Kirsten Gillibrand has been a quick study in just a few years in the U.S. Senate. She's learned how to get things done, for instance passage of aid for sick 9/11 first responders and repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for the military. She's an energetic advocate for women, and her grasp of national issues is impressive. She's clearly up to the job. Newsday endorses Gillibrand.
CONGRESS: Endorsements for the U.S. House of Representatives
1ST DISTRICT: Randy Altschuler, Republican
Proven job creator and has 10-point plan. Wants to shrink government. Pledges to be constructive, not hyperpartisan. Lives in St. James, second-time challenger.
2ND DISTRICT: Peter King, Republican
Tough-minded chairman of Committee on Homeland Security. Worked with Democrats to win compensation for 9/11 first responders. Well-placed advocate for New York's interests. Lives in Seaford, 10-term incumbent.
3RD DISTRICT: Steve Israel, Democrat
Rising House leader. Chairs Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Enjoys access to the Oval Office. Expertise in energy, veterans and military issues. Lives in Huntington, six-term incumbent.
4TH DISTRICT: Carolyn McCarthy, Democrat
Has never lost the common touch. Once and always a nurse. A dogged voice on health care, schools and gun control. Works to bridge the partisan divide. Lives in Mineola, eight-term incumbent.
5TH DISTRICT: Gregory W. Meeks, Democrat
Longtime Queens figure. District now includes Nassau. Already versed in the needs of his new area. Could be an NYC-LI bridge builder. Lives in St. Albans, 15-year incumbent.
6TH DISTRICT: Grace Meng, Democrat
Lawyer. Two-term assemblywoman. Daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. Has blazed a path toward the American dream. Lives in Flushing, challenger for an open seat.
NY STATE SENATE
1ST DISTRICT, Kenneth P. LaValle, Republican
Head of Higher Ed Committee. Delivers for SUNY. Proudly wears red Stony Brook University cap. Focused on repowering and revenue from district power plant. Lives in Port Jefferson, 18-term incumbent.
2ND DISTRICT: John Flanagan, Republican
A strong voice for education reform, and for funding Long Island schools. Willing to start the conversation about necessary but unpopular choices. Lives in East Northport, five-term incumbent.
3RD DISTRICT: Lee Zeldin, Republican
Lawyer, Army Reserve officer. Focused on veterans, local fishing industry. Championed rollback of MTA tax. Wants to find inefficiency in Medicaid. Lives in Shirley, one-term incumbent.
4TH DISTRICT: Ricardo Montano, Democrat
Highly independent. Sought nomination without party's blessing. Would be a nudge for both parties in Senate. Held federal and county civil rights jobs. In fifth term in Suffolk County Legislature. Lives in Brentwood, challenger for open seat.
5TH DISTRICT: Carl Marcellino, Republican
Former science teacher, school administrator and Oyster Bay town clerk. Consistently attends public service functions. Tackling important government consolidation initiative. Lives in Syosset, 17-year incumbent.
6TH DISTRICT: Kemp Hannon, Republican
Experienced and respected. Albany's expert on Health care, fighting to stop prescription drug abuse. Focused on protecting local wells from toxic Grumman plume. Unassuming and patient. Lives in Garden City, 22-year incumbent.
7TH DISTRICT: Jack Martins, Republican
Former Mineola mayor. Thoughtful and serious. Chairs important Local Government Committee. Ready to take the lead in economic development for Belmont Park. Lives in Mineola, one-term incumbent.
8TH DISTRICT: Charles Fuschillo, Republican
Battling drunken drivers, law by law. Chair of Transportation Committee. Champion for Roosevelt schools. Lives in Merrick, seven-term incumbent.
9TH DISTRICT: Dean Skelos, Republican
Senate GOP leadership role fits comfortably. Partner with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, watches out for Long Island. Hometown at his core. Lives in Rockville Centre, 14-term incumbent
NY STATE ASSEMBLY
1ST DISTRICT: Fred W. Thiele Jr., Independence
A leader of LI Assembly delegation. Pioneered East End land preservation. Fought Southampton campus shutdown. Lives in Sag Harbor, 17-year incumbent.
2ND DISTRICT: Daniel Losquadro, Republican
Hard worker. Intense local focus. Early gray. Eager to protect his district's 100 miles of coastline. Lives in Shoreham, one-term incumbent.
3RD DISTRICT: Dean Murray, Republican
On local issues from funding sewers to getting a new supermarket in the community, fights for the district. Lives in East Patchogue, three-year incumbent.
4TH DISTRICT: Steven Englebright, Democrat
Geologist. Thoughtful and courtly. Holding out for health rules on hydro fracking. Has the ear of Assembly leadership. Lives in Setauket, 20-year incumbent.
5TH DISTRICT: Alfred C. Graf, Republican
Street credibility. Former NYC cop and upstate town supervisor. Fighting hard to cut electric rates. Lives in Patchogue, one-term incumbent.
6TH DISTRICT: Phil Ramos, Democrat
A wily, dug-in veteran. Retired police detective. Trying to control gangs and graffiti in his district. Lives in Brentwood, five-term incumbent.
7TH DISTRICT: Andrew Garbarino, Republican
Next generation of GOP. Engaging and knowledgeable for first-time candidate. Long community ties. Energetic. Lives in Sayville, challenger for an open seat.
8TH DISTRICT: Michael Fitzpatrick, Republican
Investment adviser. Staunchly conservative. Seeks401(k)-style public pensions. Often a lone voice against Albany political culture. Lives in St. James, five-term incumbent.
9TH DISTRICT: No endorsement by Newsday
10TH DISTRICT: Chad A. Lupinacci, Republican
Deep local roots. Bleeds Hofstra blue and gold (BA, MBA, JD). Three terms, South Huntington school board. Lives in Huntington Station, challenger for open seat.
11TH DISTRICT: Robert Sweeney, Democrat
An MVP for Long Island in the Assembly. Wily. Creative thinker. Steward of the environment. Lives in Lindenhurst, 24-year incumbent.
12TH DISTRICT: Andrew Raia, Republican
Detail-oriented and wonky. Family name tradition. Concerned with Medicaid spending and pollution. Lives in East Northport, five-term incumbent.
13TH DISTRICT: Charles Lavine, Democrat
Brings criminal defense attorney expertise to Albany. Stopped county effort to gut Nassau Interim Finance Authority. Lives in Glen Cove, four-term incumbent.
14TH DISTRICT: David McDonough, Republican
Plain-spoken, tax-averse. Ranking GOP member on transportation, Worked on NICE bus takeover. Willing to take on Assessment issue. Lives in Merrick, six-term incumbent.
15TH DISTRICT: Michael A. Montesano, Republican
Champions mandate relief. Working on school funding once Glenwood Landing power plant closes. Lawyer. Lives in Glen Head, three-year incumbent.
16TH DISTRICT: Richard E. Stiek, Republican
Lawyer. Thoughtful and nuanced West Point grad. Understands energy and environmental issues. Lives in Port Washington, first-time challenger.
17TH DISTRICT: Thomas McKevitt, Republican
Always a smile. Commission should consolidate schools to Cut costs. Change foreclosure rules to keep people in homes. Lawyer. Lives in East Meadow, seven-year incumbent.
18TH DISTRICT: Elton McCabe, Republican
Hempstead Town engineering inspector. Calls gang violence domestic terrorism. Gulf War veteran. Local civil rights leader. Lives in Uniondale, first-time challenger.
19TH DISTRICT: Gary Port, Democrat
Wouldn't have let Islanders go. Retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel. Knows compromise and mediation from family law practice. Lives in West Hempstead, first-time challenger.
20TH DISTRICT: David Sussman, Republican
Longtime school board member. Focusing on school aid. Urologist. Offers aneeded change in this district. Lives in Lawrence, first-time challenger.
21ST DISTRICT: Brian Curran, Republican
Former mayor. Great sense of local issues. Principled, deliberate. Aggressive in fighting to lower taxes. Lives in Lynbrook, one-term incumbent.
22ND DISTRICT: Michaelle Solages, Democrat
Young, energetic. Political family. Advocates for Belmont Park development. Voice for suburbs in NYC-dominated Democratic majority. Lives in Elmont, challenger for open seat.
BABYLON SUPERVISOR: Richard Schaffer, Democrat
Back in his old post and excited about it. Knows the issues deeply. Strongly backs Wyandanch revitalization. Pushing for bus rapid transit on Route 110. Suffolk Democratic chairman. Steady and sure post-Sandy storm response. Running for the remaining year on Steve Bellone's term. Lives in North Babylon.
BROOKHAVEN SUPERVISOR: Edward Romaine, Republican
Two tours in the county legislature, separated by 16 years as county clerk. Would be a majority Republican supervisor on a GOP-run town board. Ready to tackle long-term budget imbalance. Running for remaining year on former Supervisor Mark Lesko's term. Former history teacher. Lives in Center Moriches.
NASSAU LEGISLATURE: Joanne Maglione, On Democratic line
An unexpected race in the 12th District to fill the seat held by the late Peter Schmitt could result in a significant change of course for Nassau County. Voters should choose Joanne Maglione, a former deputy county attorney, to fill out the remaining term of the late Peter Schmitt. Maglione,a registered Republican, can break the partisan deadlock And bring Nassau back from the fiscal cliff. Lives in Massapequa Park.