An educator by profession, Viloria-Fisher quickly established herself as the legislature's leading authority on environmental issues. She has also challenged the county executive on tone and substance.
The 5th Legislative District includes these communities in the Town of Brookhaven: Setauket, East Setauket, South Setauket, Stony Brook and parts of Port Jefferson Station, Terryville, Coram, Centereach; and the villages of Belle Terre, Old Field, Port Jefferson and Poquott.
The following is Newsday's endorsement write-up:
Viloria-Fisher was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to New York with her family as a child. She attended Hunter College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She later earned a Master of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Both Democratic incumbent Vivian Viloria-Fisher and her challenger, Republican Irene D'Abramo, cite illegal immigration as a major issue in their district, but the two approach it from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Stony Brook resident D'Abramo, 51, believes illegal immigrants are getting benefits they haven't earned, like health care and education for their children, at taxpayers' expense. Setauket's Viloria-Fisher, 59, points out that since the majority of Suffolk's budget comes from the sales tax, such folks are taxpayers. She's critical of the way the county executive has tackled the issue, saying he implies he can do more about the problem than he really can. D'Abramo, for her part, favors the Levy approach.
D'Abramo, a single mother who works for the Town of Brookhaven's Accessory Apartment Review Board and for the Board of Elections' voter information program, has a compelling personal story that includes time living in a homeless shelter. She has clearly, and inspiringly, turned her life around. But when it comes to questions of governing, she doesn't have credible answers. Viloria-Fisher is an experienced legislator with a good track record.