Assemb. Steven Englebright will soon join an elite group: sitting...

Assemb. Steven Englebright will soon join an elite group: sitting state legislators who collect retirement benefits while never leaving office. (July 3, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Most of northwest Brookhaven

In a rematch from 2010, Republican Deborah McKee, a civilian dispatcher for the Suffolk County Police Department, is challenging Democratic Assemb. Steven Englebright, who has held the seat for 20 years. McKee, 56, of Mount Sinai, received 44 percent of the vote last time. She sees Englebright as an entrenched denizen of seamy Albany culture, and is campaigning on her promise to help small businesses by changing the tax code.

Englebright, 66, a geologist who lives in Setauket, is one of the Assembly's most effective advocates for Long Island. He's done admirable work promoting jobs here through solar-power bills that have put carpenters to work, through the SUNY 2020 plan and, potentially, with his idea to build a college town at the edge of the Stony Brook campus.

Englebright is skillfully mediating between the Long Island Power Authority and the Port Jefferson school district over the future tax revenue from the power plant there. And his training makes him an important voice in the debate over hydrofracking's safety.

Newsday endorses Englebright.