Democrat Earlene Hooper is seeking her 14th term in the Assembly. She'll likely get it, but she hasn't earned it.
Hooper, of Hempstead, is erratic in her behavior, often irrational in her dealings with fellow lawmakers and not easily found in a district with communities most in need of Albany's attention. Hooper's priority for the last four years has been the transfer of the surplus Freeport Armory to a church group she is closely aligned with despite community opposition. Freeport Village has a better use, as a public works facility.
Banker Cornelius Todd Smith, a Lakeville Republican, is a solid choice. Smith, 45, who teaches financial literacy to youngsters at local libraries, promises to be accountable to the district -- showing up in it, too. He opposes the transfer of the armory, promises to get funding to replace worn water pipes in the village and to attract more businesses for community revitalization.
Newsday endorses Smith.