In the race for the seat in the State Assembly’s 19th District, the Herald endorses incumbent Ed Ra, of Franklin Square.
With a decade of experience in the Legislature — having been elected to represent the 21st Assembly District in 2010, and then re-elected to the seat in the redrawn 19th District in 2012 — Ra, a Republican, has proven over the years that he understands the challenges his constituents face — among them, combating jet noise and addressing the opioid epidemic through the work of task forces — and has detailed plans for handling them.
A lifelong resident of the area, Ra has long been a strong proponent of supporting local businesses, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, during which he has proposed legislation that would allow local business groups and nonprofits access to funds that have previously been appropriated to state programs such as START-UP New York. In addition, he has helped organize rent-relief measures to support both commercial tenants and landlords, many of whom are small businesses themselves.
We liked Ra’s challenger, Democrat Gary Port, of West Hempstead. An attorney who served in the U.S. Army for almost 30 years, Port’s devotion to his community stood out to us. Having lived in West Hempstead for 26 years, Port has also shown a strong understanding of the issues that are uppermost in district residents’ minds. This is his fourth run for State Assembly, and he has proved to be a worthy candidate.
But Ra has established himself in Albany as a respected representative of the district, and we believe that his work will continue to benefit his constituents. We encourage voters to re-elect Ra next Tuesday.