In a county that's desperate for serious change, where there's an awful lot to shout and fight about, Lawrence Republican Howard Kopel, 64, is a staid representative of the status quo. Seeking his fourth term, Kopel says he's a behind-the-scenes brain who figured out how to fix the county's assessment system. He certainly helped, but he's also supported, without notable dissent, every measure and budget over the past six years that left the county foundering financially.

His opponent, Tova Plaut, 45, is a mother of five, the director of an early childhood center, a community activist and a trustee of the Lawrence school board. She lives in Cedarhurst and wants to fight to help communities like hers still reeling from Sandy. Plaut would make the heroin crisis a priority and thinks pollution on Long Island is a crucial issue that gets too little attention, as evidenced by the poor shape of the county's Bay Park sewage plant.

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Plaut will bring a fighter's spark to a county government that needs it.

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Newsday endorses Plaut.