Suffolk Contests

For South Fork voters there is really only one choice for Suffolk legislator: Bridget Fleming. Her opponent, Heather Collins, has hardly campaigned and her candidacy appears to be little more than a placeholder for the Republican and Conservative Parties, whose ballot lines she occupies. Ms. Collins is an assistant clerk in the Suffolk County Board of Elections, an office ripe with political patronage. She lost twice to New York Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. after he switched to the Independence Party. She also has declined invitations to appear at local debates, which all but confirms her as a wasted choice.

On the other hand, Ms. Fleming, the incumbent, seems to have been everywhere this election season. She took part in a prescription drug collection day here recently and was genuinely enthusiastic about the results. She marched in a suffragist recreation event in East Hampton this summer. She has helped lead the way on the county’s new water-protection measures and alternative mosquito control, and is pushing the restoration of the Cedar Point Lighthouse. She has more than earned a second term.

For district attorney, Suffolk voters have a choice between Timothy Sini and Ray Perini. Both graduated from Brooklyn Law School, though almost 30 years apart. Mr. Sini, 37, the Suffolk police commissioner, was an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of New York. Notably, he has been endorsed by his boss there, former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, who said he “served with distinction and honor, prosecuting hundreds of cases that put dangerous criminals behind bars.” Mr. Sini’s campaign is managed by David N. Kelley, another former assistant U.S. attorney, who has a house in Springs. Mr. Sini appears to be the better choice to renew public trust in the district attorney’s office following the pending departure of Thomas Spota amid scandalous clouds.

There is an interesting contest for Suffolk sheriff, too. Lawrence M. Zacarese, an assistant chief of the Stony Brook University police, and Errol Toulon Jr., a former New York City deputy corrections commissioner, seek to follow Sheriff Vincent DeMarco in the job, which includes running the county’s two jails, as well as programs to help former inmates return to life on the outside. The sheriff’s office also works on gang resistance, bullying awareness, and with local police departments on distracted driving. 

There is reason for enthusiasm about Mr. Toulon’s candidacy. He knows what he is doing: He spent 22 years with the New York City Department of Corrections before becoming its deputy commissioner of operations. He would be the first African-American to be elected to a major Suffolk office, which would have little bearing on the job he would do except that it sends a strong message of inclusion that is needed in this diverse county. The Star endorses Mr. Toulon.