Sen. Carl Marcellino, 71, has represented Long Island's North Shore for 19 years. His seniority has yielded significant clout for this former science teacher from Syosset. Marcellino holds a leadership position in the Republican conference, chairs two important committees on government operations and capital investment, and is the vice chairman of the transportation committee.
Democrat Bruce Kennedy, 50, was elected mayor of the Village of Sea Cliff in 2009. He's held the line on local taxes during a very tough economy and has helped Sea Cliff's downtown recapture its vibrancy. Under his leadership, the village added a performing arts gazebo near the beach with free Friday night concerts. New restaurants and shops have opened.
Kennedy switched his registration to run as a Democrat after a falling-out with the Nassau County Conservative Party over his support for same-sex marriage.
Marcellino wants to retool the Long Island Rail Road's schedule so that it better serves riders traveling between stops on the Island. He's focused on the Oyster Bay line, which people avoid because its schedule into Mineola doesn't meet their needs. Instead, many park in Syosset or Cold Spring Harbor to ride the Port Jefferson line. Marcellino vows to restore LIRR funding in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's capital plan. It's a heavy lift, but he has the muscle.
Newsday endorses Marcellino.