Southeast Hempstead

When Democrat John Brooks challenged Republican incumbent David McDonough in 2010, Newsday endorsed Brooks. This year McDonough gets the nod. What the men bring to the race hasn't changed, only our conclusion about what's best for the district and Nassau.

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Brooks, 62, of Seaford, still has deep roots in the community and his fire for reform hasn't cooled. He still has thoughtful plans to improve flawed systems, such as school funding. McDonough, 75, of Merrick, is the same plain-talking, knowledgable, tax-averse Albany veteran he was two years ago.

So why the change? One of Brooks' promising initiatives -- a plan to reform Nassau's assessment system -- is gaining traction in Mineola. He should be here to drive it.

McDonough is the ranking GOP member of the Assembly Transportation Committee. He should light a fire under bureaucrats who've been slow to fix problems on our roads. His fellow Merrick Republican, Sen. Charles Fuschillo, chairs the Senate committee. The two must drive the Island's transportation agenda.

With that mission in mind, Newsday endorses McDonough.