This year's race marks Round 3 between Republican Sen. Charles Fuschillo, 52, of Merrick, and Democratic challenger Carol Gordon, 59, of Massapequa. Gordon, a former patient advocate at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport who visits schools with her collection of African-American history artifacts, says she will listen to the people of the district to help her choose policy positions. She is passionate about running for the seat, but although this is her third try against the popular incumbent, Gordon's knowledge about key issues is still wanting.

Fuschillo, running for his eighth term, is chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee, a crucial post for Long Island. While he finds the state Department of Transportation frustrating, he points out that a lot of construction is finally happening now, after he pushed to deliver $347 million for infrastructure improvements for Long Island's bridges and roads in this year's budget. If he's re-elected, we hope he'll continue to push just as hard to make bus rapid transit a reality on the Route 110 corridor, along with a reopening of the Republic Long Island Rail Road station. As for funding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, he understands that if the payroll tax is not reinstated, the money won't come from the fare box.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The newly drawn 8th District is home to some of Long Island's most shamefully failing schools, and we hope Fuschillo, who has deftly dealt with the issues in Roosevelt, makes Wyandanch a particular focus for the next term.

Newsday endorses Fuschillo.