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Editorial: Primaries will shape LI's future, so cast a ballot

Left, Adam Haber, Democratic candidate for Nassau County

Left, Adam Haber, Democratic candidate for Nassau County executive, greets commuters in Great Neck. Right, candidate Thomas Suozzi. (April 25, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

If they went by the television ads, most Long Islanders would probably be convinced that the biggest primary races in which they can cast a ballot tomorrow are for New York City's mayor, or perhaps its comptroller.

Those primaries are purely spectator sports in this suburb, but the big contests here should still compel you to cast votes.

The race that's gotten the most attention is the Democratic Party primary for Nassau County executive. Thomas Suozzi, who held the office for eight years, faces businessman Adam Haber. This page endorsed Suozzi, whose experience and vision make him the best candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Edward Mangano, who beat Suozzi in 2009.

For Suffolk residents, heated races are shaping up, too. In the 9th district, Legis. Ricardo Montano faces a fierce Democratic primary challenge from Monica Martinez. She is backed by Democratic leaders, including County Executive Steve Bellone and party chairman Richard Schaffer, who want to rid themselves of the quirky Montano.

In countywide races, incumbents belonging to other parties will likely win Republican primaries handily. Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative, faces Samuel Barreto Jr., and District Attorney Thomas Spota, a Democrat, faces Raymond Perini.

And in Smithtown, longtime supervisor Patrick Vecchio, 82, faces a youth-movement challenge for the Republican line from Councilman Robert Creighton, 75. In Huntington, a bitter three-way battle for the Democratic line in the race for highway superintendent, a job that shouldn't even be elective, pits long-term incumbent William Naughton against party choice Donald McKay and Kevin Orelli.

Local races have a real effect on our communities, so find someone to vote for, or against, and head to the polls Tuesday.