From left, incumbent Judith Pascale and challenger Vincent Puleo faced...

From left, incumbent Judith Pascale and challenger Vincent Puleo faced off in the GOP primary for Suffolk County clerk. Credit: James Escher

Vincent Puleo defeated longtime Suffolk County Clerk Judith Pascale in her bid for a new term following a bitter Republican primary contest, election results show.

The Suffolk County Republican Committee declared victory for Puleo in a Facebook post late Tuesday night.

Puleo, the town clerk of Smithtown, won the party's nomination in Tuesday's Republican primary after party leaders had dropped Pascale, the county clerk since 2006, from its ticket.

“Vinny Puleo will bring professionalism and conservative fiscal policies to the County Clerk’s office. His experience as Smithtown Town Clerk will serve Suffolk residents well, bringing integrity and a steady hand to this critical countywide office," Suffolk Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said in the committee's post.

Puleo, 68, of Nesconset, had the backing of the Suffolk County Republican and Conservative parties, both of which dropped Pascale, 74, of Moriches, in February.

Pascale survived challenges to her nominating petitions. In May, a state Supreme Court Justice ruled that Pascale's signatures were valid, and she qualified for the ballot.

Suffolk Republican chairman Jesse Garcia told Newsday in May that he believed Pascale no longer held GOP beliefs and "embraced the same COVID mandates" as Gov. Kathy Hochul and former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, both Democrats.

The Police Benevolent Association, Suffolk's largest police union, backed Pascale in the primary.

Mark Grossman, a Pascale spokesman, called the claim "ludicrous" and said the incumbent has an "outstanding record of delivering good, honest government services to the taxpayers of Suffolk County."

Suffolk Democrats previously named Lisa Jimenez of Medford, a human resources manager at Suffolk Regional Off-Track Betting, to run for county clerk.

In the Republican primary for the 4th Assembly District seat covering the North Shore of Brookhaven, Edward Flood, a deputy town attorney in Brookhaven, in a close race was leading Thomas Wiermann, a former New York City educator. 

Wiermann took an "involuntary resignation" from his job as a physical education teacher with The Edward R. Byrne School in the Bronx last fall because he declined to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a requirement for the job.

He also lost an adjunct teaching position at Manhattanville College due to the vaccine requirement.

Either Flood, 40, of Port Jefferson Village, or Wiermann, 48, of Port Jefferson Station, will face longtime Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket) in November's general election.

Wiermann has said he opposes abortion rights for women, wants to strengthen voting security and opposes gun control measures.

Flood, who stresses that he is vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus, said he does not support employer mandates and would fight to change state bail reform laws and undo "Raise the Age" measures.

In total, 13,432 voters requested absentee ballots for the county clerk's race, according to the Suffolk County Elections Board. The board has counted a total of 5,582 ballots that voters returned, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

In the 4th Assembly District, voters requested a total of 1,592 ballots, of which the board has counted 735 returned ballots, officials said.

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