Harvey Weisenberg, 78, has long claimed that experience is what matters in Albany and that with 23 years in the Assembly, he has the relationships to deliver. But Weisenberg's effectiveness has waned. Most crucially for constituents in his home of Long Beach, this year he failed to persuade Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to pass a routine but critical bill to enable borrowing to retire the city's $10-million deficit. Weisenberg's justification for returning to the Assembly -- that nobody else cares about the people as much as he does -- wears thin when considered against the tax increase his constituents face because his legislation failed.
The Democratic Party should begin grooming a successor. And voters should take a serious look at challenger David Sussman, 62, a urologist from Lawrence who has served on the Lawrence school board for 18 years -- one of the few members whose children attended the public schools. That controversial board has likely prepared Sussman for the halls of the State Capitol. Sussman says he would focus on school aid, and we hope he would use his medical knowledge to find savings in the state's Medicaid program as well.
Newsday endorses Sussman.