Democrat Michaelle Solages is a hardworking advocate for her community and continues to mature as a state legislator. A lifelong Elmont resident, Solages, 31, is seeking a third term. As a lawmaker who takes Amtrak to work in Albany, Solages has demonstrated a working-class sensibility that makes her representative and responsive to the needs of her constituents.

She is open to the Long Island Rail Road third-track project, but doesn’t want the state to steamroll the communities affected, preferring that those areas get more information and have more of a say in the rollout. The Floral Park station, she says, should be accessible to people with disabilities. In response to outrage over the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency’s tax break for the Green Acres Mall, she wants to hold the IDA more accountable to taxpayers. As a member of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, Solages is developing an informed voice on development at Belmont Park, favoring a full-service train station and more parking, as well as winter and nighttime racing.

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Solages faces Republican Robert Bogle of Valley Stream, a 24-year-old law clerk at an insurance firm. He does not see a long-term gain from the third-track project, and he opposes development at Belmont other than a mall. His voice can be an important one for his generation, but he is too inexperienced right now.

Newsday endorses Solages.