Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

Suffolk Conservatives are pressing for a cross-endorsement deal with Republicans to run former Southampton Town Board member James Malone for the Islip District Court judge seat last held by another Conservative, Anthony Senft.

The minor party is looking to run Malone, 56, a Conservative who moved to Sayville four years ago and works as a law clerk to Conservative State Supreme Court Justice William Condon.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone had the power to fill the court vacancy until November, but never put forward an appointee for confirmation by the county legislature.

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William Garbarino, Islip Town GOP leader, acknowledged the minor party has put forward Malone’s name and labeled it “technically a Conservative seat” because Senft was the last jurist in the seat.

Garbarino said it was “too early” to say whom the town GOP will back because some incumbent judges may move up, creating additional openings.

Senft is a former Islip Town board member who dropped out of a State Senate race in 2014 after fallout from an illegal dumping scandal in the town that largely centered on toxic debris found at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood. Instead, Senft ran for District District Court, and a year later he moved up to County Court in a cross-endorsement deal.

In 2011, Malone, then a deputy Suffolk County clerk, was involved in an incident in which he allegedly locked a contractor in the county clerk’s office in a dispute involving an unpaid $8,000 lien for work on Malone’s home. Malone was found liable in a civil suit brought by the contractor.

Malone was found qualified by the Suffolk County Bar Association earlier this year.