As the third-ranking Republican, Thomas McKevitt, 45, serves as a good counterweight to the Democratic majority in the Assembly. In this position, the East Meadow attorney decides which bills to debate and presents his party’s stance.

McKevitt would limit the terms of Assembly leaders to four or eight years. The turnover of the speaker’s gavel to Assemb. Carl Heastie has led to only cosmetic changes, McKevitt says. He proposes bringing a bill to the floor when it has 76 co-sponsors — a simple majority. Also, each member should have the right to bring one substantive bill to the floor at least once per session. He says a salary increase for lawmakers would be too unpopular so he would vote against it and he would limit outside income to 15 percent. In response to the lack of affordable housing on Long Island, McKevitt says he would consider expanding a tax-incentive program statewide for developers who build this type of housing.

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Democrat Matthew Malin, 24, of Seaford, is making his second run for office. He ran for the Nassau County Legislature last year. He’s serious and affable. Malin would focus on corruption and campaign finance reform to make it easier for younger candidates to put up a fair fight. He should stay involved in public life but offers no reason to replace his opponent.

Newsday endorses McKevitt.