Herald Endorsement

In 19th District, Steve Rhoads deserves your vote


Republican Steve Rhoads has worked passionately for the residents of Nassau County’s 19th Legislative District over the past two years. In a term that became defined by a pandemic, the district was fortunate to have Rhoads in the seat.

Known for having a constant presence in the community, Rhoads shifted to social media to keep followers up to date on the ever-changing reality of the health crisis.

Recently he was critical of direct $375 payments to homeowners introduced by County Executive Laura Curran, saying that the amount and the timing were not adequately tied to need. While Rhoads ultimately voted for the payments, he said he believed they were too little, too late. He was also critical of the county’s use of federal CARES Act funding, some of which went to county salaries and benefits.

Perhaps his most vocal opposition has been to the countywide property reassessment. While it became — much to our disappointment — a partisan issue in the Legislature, Rhoads has spoken out about errors in the process. He acknowledges that a reassessment of county properties was necessary, but he points to the inequities in its results. In his district, 70 percent of homeowners saw their school and property tax increase, and he advises homeowners to grieve their taxes. Correcting the errors has cost the county nearly $50 million in refunds in the past year.

Rhoads has also joined other Republican legislators in proposing a property tax cut of $120 million and fee cuts in excess of $100 million.

His challenger, 26-year-old Jake Schuster, has mounted his first political campaign, and we encourage his continued involvement in the district. Schuster said he felt as if this was the first time he has had a voice in the political conversation. That voice can be just as loud from a strong advocate who is not in an elected seat.

We strongly encourage residents of the 19th District to cast their votes for Rhoads on Tuesday.