During his 19 years as a lawmaker, Fred W. Thiele Jr. has been an ardent advocate for East End issues. Thiele, 61, an attorney from Sag Harbor, is an Independence Party member who caucuses with the Democrats.
In the current term, he co-authored legislation to help a proposed merger of the Southampton and Tuckahoe school districts. He also is working on bringing Southampton Hospital into Stony Brook University's health care system and building a new facility on the Southampton campus. Thiele, who wrote the 1998 law that used a real estate transfer tax to raise nearly $1 billion for land preservation on the East End, wants some of the $4 billion the state will receive in bank settlement money to be spent on sewers and clustered septic systems in Suffolk County.
His opponent, Republican Heather C. Collins, 38, of East Quogue, is running on a single issue: stop Common Core. That's misguided and not enough against a smart and effective veteran lawmaker.
Newsday endorses Thiele.