Much of south Brookhaven and Fire IslandRepublican Dean Murray, running for his second full term in the Assembly, has learned a lot in Albany without sacrficing his principles. He's a true conservative, but a less contentious presence than a few years ago, when he was launching local tea party groups. The job has matured his views.

Murray, 48, even as a Long Island Republican in the New York City and Democrat-dominated Assembly, has helped get sewers installed in Patchogue and brought home money for road projects. He's also been relentless in fighting the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax his constituents hate, and arguing that the agency must eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Edward J. Hennessey, 50, is Murray's Democratic challenger and a former Republican member of the Brookhaven Town Council. He has a firm grasp of local politics, but much of what he wants to work on can't be accomplished via Albany.

Murray is coming into his own and growing in competence.

Newsday endorses Murray.