Northeast Islip, central-west Brookhaven

rc/ambRepublican Assemb. Alfred Graf says he is motivated to keep Long Island's cost of living down so young people, including his three children, aren't driven away. Graf, 54, of Patchogue, appears to face easy re-election as he pursues that goal. Democratic opponent Victor E. Salamone, 49, a Suffolk Off-Track Betting Corp. employee from Holbrook, is not actively campaigning.

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Graf comes to the job as a citizen-legislator, bringing a gut sense of what's right, colored by his years as a New York City cop, two terms as a small-town supervisor in the Adirondacks, and current work as a lawyer in private practice.

In his first term, he helped establish a parking violations bureau for Suffolk County. He is pursuing myriad other causes: more funding for local trade schools, college loan repayment for nurses who work in underserved areas, enabling abused women to keep their children. His chief obsession is to channel cheap hydroelectricity from upstate to Long Island. On this point, Graf will need the support of other Long Island legislators because of powerful opposition from upstate politicians.

Newsday endorses Graf.