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OpinionEditorial

Philip Boyle to represent New York's 4th Senate District

Phil Boyle.

Phil Boyle. Credit: James Escher

Three years ago, we criticized Republican Philip M. Boyle for taking part in an odious deal between Democratic and Conservative party bosses that involved the cross-endorsement of judges and an attempt to clear the way for Boyle, who has no law enforcement experience, to become Suffolk County sheriff. One element of the bargain was that Boyle had employed the wife of the Conservative Party boss, part of his unfortunate history of hiring the relatives of political allies.

Opposing him for a fifth Senate term is Christine Pellegrino, 51, a West Islip Democrat who served one term in the Assembly before losing in 2018. She lacks knowledge about key issues, and hedges her words so carefully she seems to be trying to avoid offending anyone. Her unwillingness to take strong stands forces us to look to past statements and actions, which leads us to think that, if elected, she would align herself with city Democrats to the detriment of the district she seeks to represent.

We wish this was a more inspiring race, but it's not. At least Boyle, 59, of Bay Shore, is a competent lawmaker who knows the issues and gets legislation passed. He is realistic about the state's budget crisis and supports an ultramillionaire's tax with a sunset provision so it doesn't become permanent. He called the botched Amazon deal an extreme example of government malpractice by Democrats, which it was. He also is more enlightened than Pellegrino on the need for transit-oriented housing and some density to achieve affordability.

Boyle has provided strong constituent service as a senator and in 14 years in the Assembly. That has really mattered during the coronavirus pandemic, when his office helped people get unemployment insurance and health care, worked with small businesses hit hard by the pandemic and procured personal protective equipment for health care providers, first responders and others.

Boyle is a survivor, and he might end up being the last one left of the once-controlling Republican Senate delegation once known as the Long Island Nine.

Newsday endorses Boyle.

— The editorial board

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