Jacob Ryan Blumencranz is the Republican candidate for Assembly District 15.

Jacob Ryan Blumencranz is the Republican candidate for Assembly District 15. Credit: James Escher

Find out the candidates Newsday's editorial board selected on your ballot: newsday.com/endorsements22

Includes most of the Town of Oyster Bay and the south east corner of City of Glen Cove

The 15th District is the site of Long Island’s sole open-seat Assembly matchup this year, and the field includes two qualified, energetic candidates.

The Democrat, Amanda Field of Old Bethpage, is a Plainview water commissioner who previously ran for Oyster Bay Town supervisor. The Republican, Jake Blumencranz of Oyster Bay, works in insurance and has an advisory board member role with the Nassau County Police Department Foundation.

Both have much going for them. Field, 46, displays a practical sense of what is possible and what needs to happen to protect Long Island’s water supply, and she has a good sense of many issues affecting district residents. Blumencranz, 26, calls himself a “housing policy nerd” who understands the need to push affordable housing projects to fruition, despite the challenges of building larger multifamily construction in communities that might not be comfortable with such development. They have similar broad positions on important matters from criminal justice to congestion pricing — the plan to toll drivers going into Manhattan’s central business district — to affordability.

Blumencranz brings a granular understanding of knotty state policies, and a refreshing openness to creative solutions. He has crucial knowledge of the energy field, including the minutiae of what ratepayers are going to be on the hook for from long-term contracts to purchase power, which he rightly argues need to be carefully investigated as the state makes the massive shift to renewable energy. He knows that tackling addiction and mental health will be central to the state’s public safety in the future. And he wisely acknowledges the good that can come from state criminal justice policies like elder parole and raising the age at which someone can be prosecuted as an adult; both insert some humanity into the criminal justice system, even if other areas can still be perfected.

This is the kind of pragmatism Albany needs, one Blumencranz must maintain and deepen if elected. And the Democratic-dominated Assembly needs a GOP member who can question lucrative contracts to determine who benefits from the needed shift to renewable energy. It’s a role Blumencranz is primed to play.

Newsday endorses Blumencranz.

ENDORSEMENTS ARE DETERMINED solely by the Newsday editorial board, a team of opinion journalists focused on issues of public policy and governance. Newsday’s news division has no role in this process.