Nassau Republican Elections Commissioner John DeGrace, 59, the Valley Stream GOP leader, is retiring Sept. 30 from his $128,000-a-year post. DeGrace started in Nassau in 1976 as a county grants writer, then moved to Hempstead to serve as a deputy receiver of taxes, returned to Nassau as a deputy treasurer, became clerk to the former County Board of Supervisors, and was appointed elections commissioner almost 14 years ago.

"I've had a good run," DeGrace said. "It's time to make room for a younger person."

Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello, who chooses the commissioner, has yet to select a replacement. DeGrace has advice for his successor: "Stay focused and make sure you stay close to your county chairman." - Celeste Hadrick

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