Running for a third term, Republican Laura Schaefer ticks off a number of constituent projects she helped along: a chairlift for a county building in Westbury, a disability access project for the Westbury Memorial Public Library, fire department equipment upgrades and road projects.

The Westbury lawyer, 49, complains that “government can be slow,” and she relishes working against that on behalf of the people she represents.

However, on countywide issues, Schaefer is not nearly as engaged, and her responses to questions on tax assessments and campaign contributions replicate the Nassau Republican playbook. If she were more energized in these areas, she could grow into a more effective legislator and step up to the larger issues facing the county.

Democratic challenger Robert Pena, 24, of Garden City, is a medical student at Hofstra University. He’s bright, and we welcome his interest in politics.

Newsday endorses Schaefer.