Times Review endorsement: Ken LaValle for NYS Senate

You don’t get to spend a lifetime in office without being an effective legislator.

Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), senior member in the New York State Senate, was first elected in 1976. In 40 years, he’s proven his ability to bring home the bacon for his district. He’s remained mostly scandal-free and has run for re-election without much of a fight from Democrats for decades.

This year is no different, with perennial candidate Greg “I’ll run every year” Fischer securing the Democratic nomination. He’s received no real support in his bid and should not be taken seriously as a candidate.

More than most years, however, this might have been a good time for Dems to wage a significant challenge against the senator, considering he “retired” in his most recent term in order to collect his pension on top of his salary, making him the highest-paid elected official in New York State. The lack of a true campaign against Mr. LaValle has also allowed him to duck questions about his experience with the Riverhead law firm Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, where he abruptly resigned following the scandals involving Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver.

Mr. LaValle has been a champion of the East End for generations and has established a reputation as one of Suffolk’s most skillful and revered politicians of all time. But even the greats should have to step into the ring and defend their title every now and then.

We endorse Ken LaValle but find ourselves wishing once again that we actually had a choice.