It's exciting to watch the growth of an elected leader such as Delia M. DeRiggi-Whitton. In two terms in the legislature, she has emerged as a thoughtful voice of conscience who knows the issues and the facts and can get things done, despite being a member of the Democratic minority.

DeRiggi-Whitton, 47, of Glen Cove, passed bills that ban Nassau's sewage treatment plants from handling fracking waste and bar using such waste as ice melt. She also secured $12 million to sewer homes in Glen Cove whose septic systems are degrading water there. She has vocally pushed reforms of the county contracting process and says she's ready to work with disaffected Republicans on solving Nassau's budget woes.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Republican Matthew Connolly, 35, of Glen Cove, an attorney and former county prosecutor, is passionate about curbing the heroin epidemic but does not offer a compelling reason to turn out an effective legislator who gets better every year.

Newsday endorses DeRiggi-Whitton.