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No endorsement in Suffolk's 8th Legislative District

Both candidates bring well-established positions, strong convictions and knowledge of the district to this rematch, which was decided by a scant 244 votes in 2017.

Democratic incumbent William J. Lindsay III, 47, of Bohemia, has been a big proponent of economic development and sewer expansion, supports efforts to find a recurring revenue source for clean water projects like septic replacements, and backs the building of more rental housing. He was more energetic in his third term, approaching the Metropolitan Transportation Authority about a new train station in Holbrook and pitching a training/hiring center to help local manufacturers find qualified workers.

Republican challenger Anthony Piccirillo, 36, also from Bohemia and an aide to county Legis. Steve Flotteron, wants to cap police officer retirement payouts that he says are too high, and says a financial control board is needed to right-size county labor contracts in general. He supports legalized recreational marijuana and expanded sports gambling, opposes the red-light camera program, and says county fees are too high.

But each candidate also has a liability that compromises his candidacy.

Piccirillo pleaded guilty in 2014 to a disorderly conduct violation after being arrested in 2011 on charges that he helped to run illegal poker games. Piccirillo told Newsday that he "played in a small neighborhood poker game," but he actually was accused of collecting other players' money on behalf of an illegal poker hall. His disregard for the law is troubling.

Lindsay took part in a deal hatched by Democratic and Conservative party bosses to endorse the same candidate in several districts — in Lindsay's case, to protect what is viewed as the party's most vulnerable seat. In New York, candidates can appear on multiple ballot lines; typical combinations are Republican-Conservative or Democratic-Working Families. It's a bad system that limits voter choice. Given the gaping ideological differences between Democrats and Conservatives, this was a particularly dishonest exploitation of so-called fusion voting. Previous Democratic-Conservative deals parceled out judgeships. Lindsay's willing participation was very disappointing. We expected him to be more principled.

Newsday makes no endorsement.

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