Segal Blakeman has been cross-endorsed by Nassau's Democratic and Republican Committees...

Segal Blakeman has been cross-endorsed by Nassau's Democratic and Republican Committees for a Family Court judgeship in the November general elections. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The chairmen of Nassau's Democratic and Republican committees have agreed to cross-endorse Segal Blakeman, an attorney who is married to Republican County Executive Bruce Blakeman, for a Family Court judgeship.

In return, Republicans agreed to back Democratic attorney Eric Milgrim, a former Nassau public administrator, also for Family Court, in the Nov. 7 general election.

Family Court judges serve 10-year terms.

Cross-endorsements occur frequently in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Judicial candidates who carry the lines of both major parties are usually a lock to win the seat, barring a surprise write-in or minor party spoiler.

Party leaders say the practice is a way of making sure an equal number of Republican and Democratic candidates are elected to the bench.

Critics say such endorsements represent the worst of backroom deal-making.

Jay Jacobs, state and Nassau Democratic chairman, said Republicans agreed to let Blakeman screen before the Nassau County Democratic Party's law committee.

"She was found extremely qualified," Jacobs said.

"I really have no basis upon to object to what the Republicans have recommended," he said. "We've made it nonpartisan. Exactly what people should want."

Jared Kasschau, chairman of the Democrats' Law Committee, told Newsday a panel of five members met with Segal Blakeman on Thursday.

The panel, including Kasschau and Nassau Democratic vice chairman Thomas Garry, "spent well over an hour with Mrs. Blakeman asking questions, probing into her substantive knowledge of family law, her temperament and demeanor, and her willingness to take on some of the most gut-wrenching cases pending before the court in Nassau County."

Joseph Cairo, Nassau Republican Committee chairman, told Newsday the political parties "reached a consensus" on "well qualified" candidates.

In a statement, Cairo said Segal Blakeman has an, "impressive background and experience, evidencing the credentials necessary to serve as an excellent judge in the Family Court. The Nassau Republican Party will proudly carry petitions on her behalf."

The Blakemans declined comment, said Chris Boyle, a Nassau County spokesman.

Segal Blakeman works for Stone Studin Young & Nigro, of Woodbury, where she handles matrimonial and family law cases.

She received her law degree from Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, according to her resume. She also worked as an attorney for the county's housing department under former Republican County Executive Edward Mangano.

Elizabeth Post, executive director of the Nassau County Bar Association, said Segal Blakeman was found "well qualified" for Family Court by the association's Judiciary Committee.

Milgrim said in a statement he hoped "to have the honor of serving the county's families with empathy and dedication."

Milgrim, principal law clerk to State Supreme Court Justice David Gugerty, is a graduate of CUNY School of Law, according to his resume.

Gugerty is a former Nassau's Democratic Elections Commissioner.

Post said the bar association was expected to screen Milgrim "at a later date."

The Family Court seats opened up after Lisa Cairo, the daughter of Nassau GOP Chairman Joseph Cairo, and Stacy Bennett, were elected last year to State Supreme Court.

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