Cornelius Todd Smith, 47, a Republican banker from Lakeview, is active in his district. He teaches financial literacy to youngsters, serves as a mentor, and works with entrepreneurs of all ages to help them start businesses in the area’s many vacant buildings. His passion for his community is palpable.

That’s more than can be said for his opponent, Democrat Earlene Hooper, who is seeking her 25th term. As the Assembly’s deputy speaker, Hooper, 77, of Hempstead, should be a powerful representative of her district, but she is not much of a presence there and often is an obstacle to progress in Albany. Her most notable accomplishment in this term was again leading all state legislators in travel expenses.

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Smith, whose job involves working with owners of businesses of all sizes, helping them to incorporate and assisting them with their accounts, wants to put that experience to use in the district to help attract what he calls “reputable” companies that would create jobs and pay taxes. He says he’s getting little help from his party, which routinely concedes the seat to Hooper. That’s a shame.

Smith admits he has lots to learn about government, but Hooper has no such excuse for her poor performance. Smith ran against Hooper in 2014 and says he’ll keep running until he wins.

Newsday endorses Smith.