Christine Pellegrino won this Nassau-Suffolk seat in a special election in 2017. Pellegrino, 49, a Democrat from West Islip, is a former teacher, and education is her top priority.
But she lacks a depth of understanding about school funding, a critical issue for financially strapped Long Islanders. Pellegrino says property tax relief is a priority and that she supports the state property tax cap, but she wants to add exemptions to the cap for things like investments in security and unexpected pension costs, exemptions that would effectively render the tax cap useless and inevitably lead to the big tax hikes of pre-cap days.
Pellegrino also says Long Island schools, which spend more per pupil than virtually anywhere in the country, are chronically underfunded and need more state aid, but that aid also comes from taxpayers. And her contention that education has never been on the front lines of the conversation in Albany is divorced from reality.
Her opponent, Republican Mike LiPetri, 28, is an attorney from South Farmingdale who is making his first run for office. He declined to talk to the editorial board.
Newsday makes no endorsement in this race.