Sen. Carl Marcellino, a Syosset Republican, is practically an institution, having held the seat since 1995. He faces challenger David B. Wright, 50, of Locust Valley, a former high school guidance counselor and college adviser at LIU Post, who now works for the Nassau County Board of Elections.
Wright didn't respond to an invitation for an endorsement interview, citing glitches early on in his campaign.
Since his last race, Marcellino, 69, has stepped down as the longtime chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee. Now he leads the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations. The change seems to have given him renewed energy.
At the committee's suggestion, the State Legislature merged the insurance and banking departments into the Department of Financial Services. The committee is also considering stricter boating laws, following the July Fourth capsizing in Oyster Bay that killed three children. One good idea is creating a hull identification number for each boat, similar to the VIN in cars and trucks. The number could provide leads if, for example, a boat were found empty.
Marcellino also passed a bill to give the state Liquor Authority commissioner more executive power, speeding decisions on permit applications and other matters.
Marcellino, a former science teacher, won his last race with more than 60 percent of the vote.
Newsday endorses Marcellino.