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Herald endorsement

Re-elect John Brooks in Senate District 8


When State Sen. John Brooks defeated incumbent Republican Michael Venditto in 2016, it felt like a fluke. A combination of political headwinds and unfortunate family matters in the news for Venditto, perhaps, paved the way for the newly registered Democrat to claim the seat that the GOP had won with 60 percent of the vote in most elections.

Brooks has not behaved like a fluke in office, however. He has asserted himself forcefully on the issues that matter most to South Shore taxpayers. The former volunteer firefighter and school board trustee is passionate and well-informed about education funding inequities, and the property-assessment debacle Nassau County is trying to claw its way out of. He is a firm advocate for — and co-sponsor of — common-sense gun-safety legislation, and has pushed for a novel property-tax relief plan that, despite its slim chances of making it to the governor’s desk at present, is worth a closer look.

For all these reasons and more, voters should re-elect Brooks.

The senator would be an asset to County Executive Laura Curran as she pushes for state legislation to ease the impact of her countywide assessment changes, and he strongly believes in an education-focused, preventive approach to both the opioid crisis and the MS-13 threat. We do, too.

Brooks’s opponent, Massapequa Park Mayor Jeff Pravato, is sharp, and a quick thinker, but his answers on some of the more challenging issues facing the 8th District lacked specificity, relying on generic Republican talking points. Further, when asked for his plan to take on MS-13, Pravato mostly resorted to attacking Brooks, falsely claiming that the incumbent voted “to support sanctuary cities,” and boasted that he was endorsed by numerous law enforcement agencies.

We endorse Brooks.