Western Huntington, Elwood, Lloyd Harbor, northwest BabylonThe winner of this seat will succeed James Conte, the Huntington Station Republican who represented the district for 24 years before his death on Oct. 16. Voters will choose between two impressive 33-year-old lawyers, both Station residents who've already made contributions in public life.
Democrat Joseph Dujmic Jr., grew up in Holbrook and is a graduate of St. John's University and New York Law School. He worked as an assistant county attorney on behalf of neglected and abused children. He has taught at St. John's, is a Vanderbilt Museum trustee and, now in private practice, acts as a court-appointed advocate for children.
Dujmic wants to focus on family services as well as ethics reform. He supports creating jobs through green technology, a local-preference law for New York employers seeking state contracts, and tax incentives for small businesses. He supports the Avalon Bay project to provide affordable housing.
Chad Lupinacci, the Republican candidate, is a lifelong resident whose family's Huntington Station roots go back several generations. He holds bachelor's, MBA and law degrees from Hofstra University. Best known as a member of the South Huntington school board, he is a full-time faculty member at Farmingdale State College and teaches at Hofstra.
He wants to bring more small businesses to Route 110 to create jobs, and short-sightedly opposes denser housing in Huntington Station, preferring to see more apartments above storefronts, as it was decades ago.
This endorsement is among the closest calls this fall. Both agree on many things: expanded casino gambling in the state, bus rapid transit on 110, reducing unfunded school programs required by the state, and opposition to the new teacher evaulation system.
But Lupinacci has an edge on at least two counts. His work on Conte's staff as a college student gives him a head start in constituent services, and his eight years on the school board give him education expertise. We would like to see him focus on improving New York Avenue and work hard to create affordable housing for young residents.
Newsday endorses Lupinacci.