Democrat Sarah Anker has served the 6th District since 2011. She points to her work in creating a nonprofit to address cancer cluster issues, and her attention to education and job growth, as key successes.
Anker, 51, of Mount Sinai, comes across as caring and well-meaning. But she isn't a leader and her knowledge is limited. She's not ready to make the tough choices, nor willing to delve deeply. Instead of speaking her own mind, she too often spouts her party's line, without any nuance or deviation.
And Anker's ideas, while plentiful, often fall short. She suggests that to raise money, the county should go after "the 1 percent" -- meaning corporate and commercial entities -- to "sponsor" county websites, parks, highways, GPS systems and more. And she recommends creating affordable rentals near college campuses for young adults, but her plan lacks details and clarity as to how that would keep workers in Suffolk after they graduate.
Anker's opponent, Republican Steve Tricarico, is the deputy superintendent of highways in the Town of Brookhaven, where he manages the highway department's budget. He previously worked for former County Executive Steve Levy and for the Long Island Power Authority.
Tricarico, 31, of Wading River, claims he has improved the highway department's management and morale. To hold down Suffolk's expenses, he suggests asking every county department for a proposal to cut expenses. Tricarico also advocates developing a strategic plan for the county's fiscal future, budgeting for a zero percent sales tax increase to avoid making incorrect predictions and managing old projects to cut county debt.
Tricarico is part of the Brookhaven political machine, and that gives us pause. But he's smart and serious, and he can be a forceful, strong voice that might help to keep Suffolk in line fiscally and otherwise.
Newsday endorses Tricarico.