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Re-elect Mikulin in Assembly District 17

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Though he is completing only his first full term, State Assemblyman John Mikulin boasts significant accomplishments and has been a strong advocate for his constituents in the 17th District. The Herald encourages voters to return him to office.

Mikulin, 32, a Republican from Levittown, has represented East Meadow, Seaford, Wantagh, Bethpage, Farmingdale, Massapequa and Uniondale since winning a special election in 2018. This year, faced with the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, he pushed for the reopening of local businesses, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow outdoor dining at restaurants — and later, to reopen bowling alleys.

Mikulin cosponsored legislation that would make state grants available to small businesses through their chambers of commerce. That financial relief would guarantee that those businesses could get back on their feet and become profitable again, he told our editorial board. He added that he hoped the Assembly would pass the bill before the end of the year, but if not, he would keep pushing for it if he were re-elected.

Mikulin was critical of placing Covid-19 patients in nursing homes, which put elderly residents of those homes in danger, he said, adding that emergency hospitalization sites such as the Javits Center and the USNS Comfort should have been used more efficiently.

Mikulin is particularly proud of his attention to his constituents’ quality-of-life issues, especially in recent months. His office helped many people navigate an unemployment benefits system that was overwhelmed by the sheer number of those who had lost jobs and desperately needed it.

The cleanup of the underground Grumman plume — which has been in the news since his childhood — has been a major focus for Mikulin. Working with his fellow legislators, he helped secure more than $500 million for an effort to clean up and stop the migration of the plume of toxic chemicals from the aerospace engineering giant’s former plant. He pledged that, if re-elected, he would see that the project continues, and that Grumman is held responsible.

Mikulin’s opponent, Mark Engelman, did not reply to the Herald’s requests for an interview.

Given Mikulin’s accomplishments in Albany in a relatively short time, he has our enthusiastic endorsement.