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 Democrats have picked Dominador Pascual, an attorney from Farmingville, to challenge four-term GOP Legis. Tom Muratore in the Fourth District this fall.

Pascual’s selection came after county Democrats at their party convention last month left nominations for six legislative seats vacant.

The party also named Kevin l. Hyms of Lake Ronkonkoma to run against Legis. Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset).

Pascual, 36, is making his first run for public office. He is a lifelong Long Island resident, and works as a financial crimes investigator. Earlier, he worked for the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development and is a lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserves.

“I’m really excited and will bring energy to the race,” Pascual said. “We need to bring back higher paying jobs to Suffolk to bring in new revenue. We can’t keep raising taxes and fees.”

Muratore, 71, a retired 35-year police officer, questioned Democrats’ commitment to make needed county budget cuts.

“They can’t put a Democrat in to do that from what we’re seeing happening in this county,” Muratore said, citing $70 million in new fees the Democratic majority added to the budget.

Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle, meanwhile, has named William Collado, of Smithtown, to run for Suffolk County Court judge and Steven Weissbard, of Stony Brook, for Family Court.

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Democrats earlier named District Court Judge David Morris, of the Independence Party, to run for County Court judge and Family Court Judge Theresa Whelan to run for re-election. Both have the Democratic, Independence and Conservative ballot lines.