In the race between State Senator Ken LaValle and his opponent Jennifer Maertz, we throw our support behind the longtime incumbent.
Though we are troubled by his opposition to gay marriage, we feel LaValle has managed over the years to deliver good constituent service. He has been a strong voice for education in our district over the years. For better or worse, he helped arrange the state’s acquisition of the Southampton Campus for Stony Brook University. And with Stony Brook on track to effectively shut the campus down, LaValle has shown he is not afraid to buck the university by trying to wrest it away from them now.
On the other side, we found Maertz to be a little thin on some of the issues. Granted, she was a latecomer to the race, and doesn’t benefit from LaValle’s 34 years of experience in the senate, but we felt she could have brought more to the table. While she was well read on some of the issues, she spent most of her debate time arguing against her opponent’s qualifications rather than highlighting what skill sets and insight she might bring to the job if she were to be elected.
In the end, though we may disagree with LaValle on some things ideologically, he does carry a lot of juice in the state senate after 34 years. He’s acquired some real respect among his peers, and we see no reason not to return him to Albany for another go round.