Democrat Kate Browning, 56, of Shirley, is running for her sixth and final two-year term. Her opponent, William Toranzo, 52, is a retired New York City police detective making his first run for office. The Shirley Republican runs a computer services business from home, coaches youth sports and is concerned about crime and the cost of living.

As chairwoman of the legislature's Public Safety Committee, Browning grasps the growing heroin problem. Her bill to register "burner phones," which are used by drug dealers, was defeated, but she vows to bring it back. She has launched a pilot program to regulate sober homes, where she says too many people are dying.

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Toranzo would like to see the county grow its way out of budget problems, in part by lowering the sales tax. It's a misguided approach, as is his proposal to arrest people who help revive overdosing friends. Browning's focus on expanding sewers is a more practical way to stimulate growth.

Newsday endorses Browning.