In an election full of political newcomers and frustration with conventional politics, this race embodies the moment. Democrat Juan C. Vides, 41, of Oceanside, is a small-business owner who “couldn’t sit on the sidelines” any longer. He’s an immigrant from El Salvador offended by the president’s rhetoric around immigration, and he is interested in improving gun-safety laws as well as the state’s use of technology, from better messaging to streamlined voter registration.
GOP incumbent Melissa L. Miller, 54, of Atlantic Beach, first ran in 2016. Her background as a stay-at-home mom to a special-needs child has driven much of her work on the mental health committee, where she sponsored several bills advocating for those with disabilities, including securing funds for a study of adult changing stations in public buildings for those who are disabled.
She also has supported ethics reforms like term limits and stripping pensions from corrupt officials, and she has been a voice on environmental issues unique to her district, like extending deadlines and improving communication for the New York Rising program.
While Vides brings a fresh perspective, Miller has been a responsive legislator. In a new term, we hope she expands her advocacy beyond her passion for disability rights and continues to use her voice for issues like ethics reforms.
Newsday endorses Miller.