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Robert Calarco to represent Suffolk's 7th Legislative District

Robert Calarco, Democratic incumbent candidate for Suffolk County

Robert Calarco, Democratic incumbent candidate for Suffolk County Legislature District 7, poses for a portrait at the William H. Rogers Legislative Building in Smithtown on July 17, 2019. Credit: James Escher

 In four terms, Patchogue Democrat Robert Calarco, who turns 40 on Oct. 24, has gained a lot of expertise and chalked up significant accomplishments. 

He's a strong voice for the acclaimed redevelopment of Patchogue, and he's fought for the much lower-profile Canaan Lake restoration. Calarco rightly believes the county's finances have come a long way since the huge annual deficits it faced when he started, but he is properly cautious about Suffolk's still-precarious cash position and the need to control spending. He supports red-light cameras and says a study claiming they increase accidents is flawed.

Dominick Thorne, a 42-year-old Republican from Patchogue who works for the county Board of Elections, says he's upset that people are leaving because the county has become too expensive, and it has, but stopping Suffolk's plan to publicly finance elections, one of Thorne's signature proposals, is penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Newsday endorses Calarco.