Tom Donnelly to represent Suffolk’s 17th Legislative District

Tom Donnelly, Democratic candidate for Suffolk County's 17th Legislative District, poses for a portrait on May 20, 2015. / James Escher

The two candidates for this open seat are soft-spoken and even-tempered, and correctly diagnose Suffolk’s problems. Only one understands how government functions and has worked with members of the other party on solutions.

Thomas Donnelly, 51, of Deer Park, a Babylon Town Board member since 2011 and a longtime New York City and Deer Park firefighter, says fixing the county’s budget woes begins with getting concessions from labor unions. A Democrat, he wants the legislature to work in a more bipartisan way in constructing the budget and says he’s better at governance than politics. That’s exactly what Suffolk needs.

Republican Michael Troetti, 63, of Melville, has worked in various top positions in consumer electronics and appliance companies. He has a business perspective on problems but lacks knowledge about how to solve them.

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Newsday endorses Donnelly.