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Melissa Miller to represent New York’s 20th Assembly District

Open seats are a rarity on Long Island, and this one pits a Long Beach City Council member against a political outsider with a compelling back story.

Democrat Anthony Eramo, 42, has served three years on the council. He knows the issues. As the political director for a major private-sector union, he sees those issues through a union lens. That’s a problem when it comes to the state property tax cap, which Eramo argues should have an exemption for fixed costs such as salaries, the major driver of rising budgets.

Opponent Melissa Miller, 52, of Atlantic Beach, is a stay-at-home mother of a special-needs child. Known for her advocacy for her 16-year-old son and other special-needs children, she says she has learned a lot about education, health care and government from navigating those battles. Continuing the fight for greater accessibility for disabled people and better programs for disabled children transitioning into adulthood would be among her priorities. Miller, who once worked as a medical assistant in a pediatrician’s office, also was active in the drive to legalize medical marijuana, which greatly reduced her son’s seizures.

Miller, who has strong positions on curbing public corruption, admits that she has more to learn. But she would bring a fresh perspective and strong voice to Albany on behalf of people with special needs.

Newsday endorses Miller.