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OpinionEditorial

A guide to Newsday's 2017 endorsements in Nassau County

There is no hot presidential election this year, no congressional or state offices with big-stake outcomes up for grabs on Tuesday.

But the many local races on the ballot are incredibly important because they impact every Long Islander’s daily life and their future.

Both Nassau and Suffolk counties are grappling with troubling finances, the opioid epidemic and the failure of public servants to deliver honest government.

In Nassau, a new county executive will inherit a budget mess and a broken contracting system after the departure of Edward Mangano, who is under federal indictment. Legislators in both counties must work across party lines to better serve residents.

Newsday’s 11-member editorial board, which operates independently of the paper’s newsgathering operation, interviewed nearly every candidate for countywide positions, county legislative seats and town supervisor offices — nearly 100 contenders in 52 races. We met with interest groups involved in three statewide referendums.

We recommend candidates based on their ideas, their accomplishments, their enthusiasm and who we believe will best represent the interests of Long Island and their communities. Political party ideology plays no role. Nor do the business interests and ownership of the Newsday Media Group influence our decisions.

This guide summarizes Nassau County endorsements published over the past three weeks. Click here to read Suffolk County endorsments.

Now we ask you to do your part. Vote.

Nassau County executive: Laura Curran, Democrat

Laura Curran, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Executive,
Photo Credit: James Escher

Tough, clear-eyed, has a strong plan to fight against the corruption that has destroyed the public trust. Willing listener with unusual humility and a practical solution to Nassau’s troubled assessment system.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

Nassau County comptroller: Jack Schnirman, Democrat

Jack Schnirman, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Comptroller,
Photo Credit: James Escher

Shepherded Long Beach out of near-bankruptcy, now ready to be the fiscal watchdog Nassau needs. Promises to be independent and monitor county finances like a baseball umpire, calling balls and strikes.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

Nassau County clerk: Maureen O'Connell, Republican

Maureen O'Connell, Republican candidate for Nassau County Clerk,
Photo Credit: James Escher

Longtime clerk has introduced new technology and promises to continue her modernization efforts. Intends to continue speaking out against excessive fees that are improperly being used to raise revenue.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

Hempstead Town supervisor: Laura Gillen, Democrat

Laura Gillen, Democratic candidate for Hempstead Town Supervisor,
Photo Credit: James Escher

Ready to end business-as-usual with more transparency, more contract oversight, less patronage and a stronger ethics code.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

North Hempstead supervisor: Judi Bosworth, Democrat

Judi Bosworth, Democratic incumbent candidate for Town of
Photo Credit: James Escher

Promises to continue progress in solid finances, and a more open government, including tough anti-nepotism measures.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

Oyster Bay Town supervisor: Mac Herman, Democrat

Marc Herman, Democratic candidate for Oyster Bay Town
Photo Credit: James Escher

Trained ethicist is needed for corruption-riddled town. Listens to people, says transparency and honesty are key to governing.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

State Supreme Court: Richard Hoffman and Robert Lifson

judges
Photo Credit: James Escher

The editorial board makes selections in judicial races only when larger principles are in play. Send a message to political bosses about backroom cross-endorsement deals that deprive voters of real choices. Voters can chose a maximum of four of the 10 candidates running for State Supreme Court. Vote for just two, Robert Lifson and Richard Hoffmann, both running only on the Republican line, to upset the party bosses’ plans.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

1st legislative district: Kevan Abrahams, Democrat

Kevan Abrahams, Democratic incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Knows county’s ills, minority leader ready to use experience to partner with new county executive and majority leader.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

2nd legislative district: Siela Bynoe, Democrat

Siela Bynoe, Democratic incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Helped start programs to refurbish zombie homes and improve police-community relations and training to deal with mental illness.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

3rd legislative district: Paul Sapienza, Republican

Paul Sapienza, Republican candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Focused on growing local businesses, rare GOP voice in favor of independent inspector general. Quiet, intelligent voice needed.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

4th legislative district: Denise Ford, Democrat

Denise Ford, Republican incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Caucuses with Republicans, good district advocate, willing to reform minimum manning requirements that increase police OT.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

5th legislative district: Debra Mulé, Democrat

Debra Mulé, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Pushing corruption reforms, beefing up assessor’s office, working across party lines. Freeport village board experience an asset.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

6th legislative district: William Gaylor, Republican

William Gaylor, Republican candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher/James Escher

Supports more housing for young people to ensure the bright future he sees for Nassau County.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

7th legislative district: Karen Blitz, Democrat

Karen Blitz, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Neurologist accurately diagnoses Nassau’s corruption problem. Math and science skills would be an asset.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

8th legislative district: Vincent T. Muscarella, Republican

Vincent T. Muscarella, Republican candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Pragmatic, effective, engaged. Original legislative member understands nuances of issues and how to solve them.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

9th legislative district: Richard Nicolello, Republican

Richard Nicolello, Republican incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

The other original member, likely next presiding officer. Mix of intelligence and perspective makes for good leadership.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

10th legislative district: Ellen Birnbaum, Democrat

Ellen Birnbaum, Democratic incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Wants to reopen the Sixth Precinct, fully staff assessor’s office, establish independent inspector general.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

11th legislative district: Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Democrat

Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Democratic incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Rising star, smart and forceful. Strong stance on ethics reforms and engaged in fighting opioid crisis.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

12th legislative district: Alex Melton, Democrat

Alex Melton, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislator
Photo Credit: James Escher

Bursting with energy and ideas. Wants to use data and technology, like a transparent crime database, to craft policy.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

13th legislative district: Eileen Napolitano, Democrat

Eileen Napolitano, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Exudes passion for balancing budget, restoring county’s moral compass, ending arcane police work rules, and term limits.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

14th legislative district: Laura Schaefer, Republican

Laura Schaefer, Republican incumbent candidate for Nassau County
Photo Credit: James Escher

Effective constituent advocate brings projects back to district. Should apply that engagement to countywide issues.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

15th legislative district: John Ferretti, Republican

John Ferretti, Republican candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Newcomer has experience in county clerk office. Ready to fight fee increases. Good ideas for reforming assessments.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

16th legislative district: Angel Cepeda, Republican

Angel Cepeda, Republican candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Insists parties work together on budget woes. Wants stable revenue for public transit and mixed-use development at Hub.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

17th legislative district: Ray Arora, Democrat

Ray Arora, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Newcomer pushing tough package of ethics reforms and negotiation of an affordable police contract.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

18th legislative district: Josh Lafazan, no party

Joshua Lafazan Democratic candidate for 18th Legislative District
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

School board member, on Democratic line. Energetic, has experience fighting opioid epidemic. Wants rental housing at Hub.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

19th legislative district: Jeff Gold, Democrat

Jeff Gold, Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislature
Photo Credit: James Escher

Expert knowledge of assessment system invaluable to legislature that needs it. Also wants to roll back outrageous fees.

Click here to read the full endorsement.

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