Nick Caracappa is the Republican candidate for Suffolk Legislature District 4.

Nick Caracappa is the Republican candidate for Suffolk Legislature District 4. Credit: James Escher

Nicholas J. Caracappa has a familiar name in Suffolk County’s Fourth Legislative District, which covers parts of Brookhaven Town, including Selden, Centereach and Farmingville. His mom, Rose, held the seat until 1995, when his brother, Joe, took it on, filling the spot until he was term limited in 2007.

Now, Nicholas J. Caracappa, a Selden Republican, is running for the seat in a special election, to complete the term of Thomas Muratore who died last month.

A retired police officer, Muratore served in the Suffolk County Legislature for more than a decade. He fought illegal dumping, pushed for park land, protested wasteful spending, and always worked on his constituents’ needs.

This race’s winner should learn from his example.

There are a lot of similarities between Caracappa and his opponent, Selden Democrat Joseph A. Turdik. Caracappa works at the Suffolk County Water Authority, Turdik at the county Board of Elections. Both talk of deep connections to their community, and of needing to wait until they get into office before committing to specific fiscal proposals.

But Caracappa, 53, has a stronger handle on his district’s needs, pointing to specific traffic and road-safety concerns, and broader issues like economic development, affordable housing, and the need for sewers. He prioritizes the county’s water quality challenges and needs, and promises to work across the aisle. And while he lacked clear solutions, Caracappa recognizes the severity of the county’s fiscal woes.

Turdik, 67, has run for the legislature against Muratore before. His central argument is that he’d be part of the majority and could bring more funding to the district.

If elected, Caracappa should follow through on his pledge to work with the majority, while focusing on water quality matters and other district needs, from tackling unsafe county roads to encouraging new businesses to come the area and create jobs.

Newsday endorses Caracappa.

— The editorial board

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