This is the last legislative rodeo for Thomas Muratore. The Ronkonkoma Republican, 74, is seeking a sixth and final term.
His tenure has been marked by calls for fiscal conservatism, including cutting wasteful spending and reducing bonding and patronage hiring. Like his opponent, he backs a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax to shore up county finances. He's been good at constituent service and supports developments like the Arboretum project in Farmingville.
Democrat David Bligh, 36, from Holbrook, is a strong proponent of affordable housing and county incentives to get it done, like breaks on sewer connection fees. An environmental engineer, Bligh supports efforts to find a funding source for grants to help homeowners install septic systems, and says the county should beef up its bus system.
Bligh has the right instincts for the future and should stay involved in politics, but Muratore's voice for responsible budgeting is needed during these uncertain times.
Newsday endorses Muratore.