Republican Dennis Dunne Sr. is finishing his 10th term on the Nassau County Legislature. An experienced lawmaker with a good sense of his district, he's right that reversing the scourge of heroin requires education and treatment as much as policing. As chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, Dunne, 65, of Levittown, can drive a countywide agenda on an epidemic that has claimed so many lives.

But he should reject his party's too-optimistic position on the budget and take a more active role in helping Nassau dig out of its financial hole. His idea of a state tax on Internet sales to increase revenue should be explored, but that would hardly be enough.

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Dunne also should be more open to the concerns of his challenger, Democrat Matthew W. Malin, 23, of Seaford. Malin, a Democratic Party worker, says a lack of housing options could force him and others of his generation to leave Long Island. And he deplores corruption in government.

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Dunne has the experience to address those issues, too.

Newsday endorses Dunne.