Susan Berland to represent Suffolk’s 16th Legislative District

Susan Berland, Democratic candidate for Suffolk County's 16th Legislative District, poses for a portrait on May 22, 2017. / James Escher

One candidate for this open seat has experience, the other doesn’t. The difference is telling.

Democrat Susan Berland, 56, of Dix Hills, has served on the Huntington Town Board since 2002 and knows the district’s problems. Her approach to the opioid epidemic is wide-ranging — more prevention, education, treatment options, alternatives to incarceration and stiffer penalties for dealers. She wants to reach out to immigrants here illegally for help in rooting out gangs.

Republican Hector Gavilla, 47, a Dix Hills resident who owns a real estate agency, has no elective experience. His core message about making Suffolk more attractive to businesses is belied by his hostility to affordable housing, belief that Suffolk has enough rentals, and insistence that young people can afford houses and want to buy them. And his admitted ignorance about Suffolk’s water-quality issues is worrisome.

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Newsday endorses Berland.