Reporter Endorsement: Ken LaValle for State Senate, Charles Schumer for U.S. Senate

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | State Senator Ken LaValle.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | State Senator Ken LaValle.

You don’t get to spend a lifetime in office without being an effective legislator.

Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), senior member in the New York State Senate, was first elected in 1976. In 40 years, he’s proven his ability to bring home the bacon for his district. He’s remained mostly scandal-free and has run for re-election without much of a fight from Democrats for decades.

This year is no different, with perennial candidate Greg “I’ll run every year” Fischer securing the Democratic nomination. He’s received no real support in his bid and should not be taken seriously as a candidate.

More than most years, however, this might have been a good time for Dems to wage a significant challenge against the senator, considering he “retired” in his most recent term in order to collect his pension on top of his salary, making him the highest-paid elected official in New York State.

The lack of a true campaign against Mr. LaValle has also allowed him to duck questions about his experience with the Riverhead law firm Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, where he abruptly resigned following the scandals involving Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver.

Mr. LaValle has been a champion of the East End for generations and has established a reputation as one of Suffolk’s most skillful and revered politicians of all time. But even the greats should have to step into the ring and defend their title every now and then.

We endorse Ken LaValle but find ourselves wishing once again that we actually had a choice.

Charles Schumer for U.S. Senate
After previously opposing U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012, Republican nominee Wendy Long is trying her hand at defeating New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, this time around.

Her lackluster and paranoid campaign, which centers around calling the 17-year member of Congress a “corrupt career politician,” offers few specifics on how exactly her opponent is guilty of her bold allegations.

Mr. Schumer, meanwhile, is a clear favorite to become the Senate majority leader if Democrats can take back the chamber, an exciting prospect for the state. He’s been vocal about his desire to work with Republicans on pushing forward legislation with bipartisan support. He told Newsday those issues include “major infrastructure investments to create jobs, affordable higher education, criminal justice reforms and more funding for scientific research,” the paper wrote in its endorsement of him.

Mr. Schumer is a tireless worker and his finest accomplishment locally has been his ability to secure an abundance of Federal Emergency Management Agency funds in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

We wish he had done more to stop the Federal Aviation Administration’s extension of the North Shore Helicopter Route earlier this year,

Regardless, he’s the clear choice in this election.