Republican incumbent Lee Zeldin has the air of a spirited Mr. Smith-goes-to-Albany to fight government waste and bureaucracy. He went to the Senate in 2010 after voters unseated an incumbent, primarily for passing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax.
So one of Zeldin's first moves was to sponsor a bill to repeal that tax. With heavy support from the governor, he was able to get a partial repeal for small businesses. Zeldin, 32, of Shirley, says his first term was also an education on how daunting it can be to tame entrenched systems like Medicaid. A lawyer and Army reservist, Zeldin won funds for veterans suffering from postwar disorders, for local schools, and for a second railroad track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. He has fought for the interests of small fishing boats and anglers.
Democratic nominee Francis Genco, 59, of East Islip, began work with the Suffolk Board of Elections in March after serving as executive assistant to then-Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan. He also served several years on the East Islip School Board. Genco's perspective on local government and education would prove valuable, but Zeldin got off to a fine start and deserves to return to Albany.
For a second term, we would challenge Zeldin to pair his growing expertise with his zeal for government efficiency and low taxes.
Newsday endorses Zeldin.