Four State Supreme Court posts -- representing both Suffolk and Nassau counties -- lead more than a dozen Long Island judgeships that are up for election on Tuesday.
From several townwide district court slots to family court in Suffolk and city court in Long Beach, 29 men and women are vying for the 15 judicial positions that will be on various ballots across the region. But the Supreme Court races, which involve seven candidates, are the only ones every local voter will have a say in.
Those judgeships, each with 14-year terms, primarily oversee civil cases, though some are assigned to criminal courtrooms and the Appellate Division. Despite the posts' significance, candidates remain somewhat anonymous by nature, said a local elections expert.
"That's because there are a lot of restrictions on people getting to know them," said Michael Dawidziak, a Bohemia political analyst who works primarily with Republicans.
Dawidziak noted that state elections law prohibits sitting justices from keeping campaign accounts, and limits all candidates, many of whom are cross-endorsed, to discussing just their records, not their stances on issues.
"The things a lot of voters will care about -- while he be a 'hang 'em high' judge, or an activist judge -- they'll never know," Dawidziak said.
Three of the seven State Supreme Court candidates for the 10th Judicial District are endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats: incumbent Arthur G. Pitts, 61, of Wading River; Nassau County Court Judge John M. Galasso, 68, of Oyster Bay; and attorney David T. Reilly, 51, of Northport.
Hope S. Zimmerman, 67, of Westbury, a former Nassau Family Court supervising judge, is endorsed by Democrats, Conservatives and the Independence Party.
The other three candidates are: Republican Gary J. Weber, 69, of Westhampton Beach, a former Suffolk court judge now in private practice; Conservative Paul E. Hennings, 52, of St. James, a private practice attorney; and Matthew E. Hughes, 45, of Huntington, a State Supreme Court law clerk who is endorsed by Conservatives and the Independence Party.
Supreme Court (elected in both Nassau and Suffolk; Vote for four)
Hope S. Zimmerman (Dem, Con, Ind)
Arthur G. Pitts (Dem, Rep, Ind)
John M. Galasso (Dem, Rep, Ind)
David T. Reilly (Rep, Dem)
Paul E. Hennings (Con)
Matthew G. Hughes (Con, Ind)
Gary J. Weber (Rep)
Nassau County Court Judge (vote for two)
David J. Ayres (Dem, WFP, GRE)
David I. Levine (Dem, WFP, GRE)
David P. Sullivan, (Rep, Con, Ind, TRP)
Patricia A. Harrington (Rep, Con, Ind, TRP)
Nassau 2nd District Court
Anna Grimaldi, (Dem, WFP, GRE)
Joy Watson, (Rep, Con, Ind, TRP)
Nassau 3rd District Court (Vote for three)
Erica L. Prager (Dem, WFP, Ind, GRE)
David Goodsell (Dem, WFP, Ind, GRE)
Scott H. Siller (Dem, WFP, Ind)
Elizabeth Berney (Rep, Con)
Frank A. Doddato (Rep, Con)
Lesli P. Hiller (Rep, Con)
Nassau 4th District Court
Marc Laykind (Dem, WFP)
Rhonda Erin Fischer (Con, Ind, GRE, TRP)
Long Beach City Court Judge
Roy Tepper (Dem, WFP)
Theodore E. Hommel (Rep, Con, Ind, GRE)
Suffolk Family Court Judge
John Kelly (Dem, WFP, Ind)
Deborah Poulos (Rep, Con)
Suffolk District Court judge, 1st District
Richard I. Horowitz (Dem, WFP, Ind)
Karen M. Wilutis (Rep, Con)
District Court Judge, 2nd District, Town of Babylon (Vote for 2)
Carl J. Copertino (Dem, Rep, Con, Ind, The Schaffer Team)
Gaetan B. Lozito (Dem, Rep, Con, Ind, The Schaffer Team)
District Court Judge, 6th District, Town of Brookhaven
Chris A. Kelley (Dem, WFP, Ind)
Barbara Lynaugh (Rep, Con)