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Kenneth LaValle to represent NY’s 1st Senate District

Kenneth LaValle of Port Jefferson, Republican incumbent candidate

Kenneth LaValle of Port Jefferson, Republican incumbent candidate for the 1st State Senate District. Credit: James Escher

There is no politician on Long Island more established in his or her district than Kenneth P. LaValle.

That’s because he’s spent 42 years in the Senate. Fortunately for his constituents, LaValle, 79, a Republican from Port Jefferson, continues to match his longevity with results.

He worked with Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) to protect more than 800 acres of pristine forest in Shoreham as part of the pine barrens core preservation area. He teamed with Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) to get a bill passed that paves the way for Stony Brook University to lease land for a new Southampton Hospital, a vital East End concern.

LaValle supports two bills blocked by the Senate last session — one requiring the state to be powered 100 percent by alternative energy by 2050, another to extend the criminal statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and give them more time to bring civil cases against their attackers. LaValle should use his influence vigorously to get them passed.

LaValle’s opponent, Democrat Gregory-John Fischer, ran against LaValle in 2016. Fischer, 61, a business consultant from Calverton, is bursting with ideas — from using maglev technology to connect Long Island to Quebec via a cross-Sound tunnel to Port Chester, to employing facial recognition technology to enable online voting. And he supports a raft of other voting and ethics reforms. But he seems to be at war with virtually everyone, including his own party, and has filed a seemingly endless number of lawsuits on a dizzying array of issues. In the Senate, he could be a party of one.

LaValle has been in the business a long time. But he still can play to his strengths — delivering for Stony Brook University and protecting the environment. Both are important to his district and to Long Island as a whole.

Newsday endorses LaValle. — The editorial board