Dean Skelos, Republican incumbent candidate for New York State Senate...

Dean Skelos, Republican incumbent candidate for New York State Senate 9th District and current Senate Majority Leader. (Aug. 9, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Sen. Dean Skelos represents not only the 9th District in Southwest Nassau, he's the leader of the Republican majority, which is seeking to stay in control of the New York State Legislature's upper chamber.

Skelos' influence and ability to deliver for Long Island are reasons enough to support his re-election bid, of which the outcome is all but certain. In a cheeky nod to reality, Democrats have nominated Thomas Feffer, 24, a party intern who is not actively campaigning.

In his first full term as leader, Skelos, 64, of Rockville Centre, partnered with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to muscle into law a 2 percent property tax cap, pension reform and partial rollback of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax. And while Skelos didn't vote for same-sex marriage, his willingness to end a GOP blockade and let the measure come to the floor paved the way for New York's historic vote.

Skelos has grown confident and comfortable as majority leader and now must take on new challenges, such as relieving school districts from costly and burdensome state mandates. And he must persuade the northernmost members of his conference to allow the building of a transmission line to bring upstate wind and Canadian hydropower downstate. Unfortunately, he let partisanship derail approval of a bill to allow Long Beach to borrow to restructure its budget and avoid a big tax hike. Skelos also must remain vigilant about environmental damage caused by the outflow of the Bay Park Sewer Treatment Plant.

Newsday endorses Skelos.