Editorial: Now comes the tough part for Krupski

01/17/2013 5:59 AM |

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer, County Executive Steve Bellone, Legislator-elect Al Krupski and Legislator Wayne Horsley on election night.

Throughout his campaign for the 1st District seat in the Suffolk County Legislature, Republican Sean Walter repeatedly referred to his opponent’s party as the Babylon Democrats.

It’s not a terribly unfair remark, given that the county executive, the county Democratic chair and the Legislature’s deputy presiding officer all hail from that South Shore town.

County Legislator-elect Al Krupski now faces a major challenge -— how to balance the ideals of the North Fork with his obligation to the men and women who helped get him elected.

That balancing act was immediately on display Tuesday night as he posed for pictures with Suffolk County Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer, County Executive Steve Bellone and Legislator Wayne Horsley. Mr. Krupski, third from left in the photo above, was the Teddy Roosevelt to their Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln of Mount Babmore. It was exactly the kind of image Mr. Walter would have wanted us all to see before we headed to the polls.

Soon after that picture came shots of the newly elected legislator with leaders of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association. Trust us, Suffolk’s finest will send him that picture as a reminder of their support when it comes time to negotiate a new contract.

Mr. Krupski is not in Kansas anymore. He’s not in Southold, either.

Hauppauge, home of the county Legislature, is a stressful place where he’ll be forced to make tough, often partisan decisions.

Will he be asked to bring development to the East End and turn his back on preservation? Doubtful. But he will almost certainly be asked to support initiatives that raise spending and increase taxes, particularly as the county continues to plug away at budget shortfalls.

As we noted in our endorsement of him last week, we believe Mr. Krupski has what it takes to balance his obligation to the residents of the North Fork with the needs of his party. Now it’s up to him to prove it.