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EDITORIAL: Newsday's endorsement in the 21st Assembly District

This district will send a fresh face to the Assembly, either Democrat Patrick Nicolosi, 53, a seasoned community activist and retired bakery truck driver, or Republican Edward Ra, 28, an assistant Hempstead Town attorney. In this contest between insurgent and establishment, the elder candidate is the rebel.

Nicolosi, of Elmont, beat the party-backed candidate to win his spot on the ballot. Ra, of Franklin Square, is the son of Hempstead's town attorney and is following his party's script for career advancement.

Nicolosi and Ra each wants to cap property taxes and state spending, capture a "fair share" of school aid, and bring casino gambling and development to Belmont Racetrack. But with his blue-collar and union background, Nicolosi will demonstrate that Long Islanders aren't all rich and that nepotism doesn't always rule. He promises to challenge public unions for resisting higher pension contributions and padding retirement income. Those are key messages. Newsday endorses Nicolosi.