Judith Pascale, the Republican Suffolk County Clerk, shown in May...

Judith Pascale, the Republican Suffolk County Clerk, shown in May 2018. Credit: James Escher

Longtime Suffolk County Clerk Judith Pascale will run in the Republican primary on June 28 after gathering enough valid petition signatures to qualify for the ballot, despite GOP efforts to challenge her signatures.

In a decision this week, state Supreme Court Justice John J. Leo upheld a ruling in Pascale's favor by Suffolk's Board of Elections: She needed 2,000 signatures and got 4,169.

Pascale, 74, of Moriches, is seeking her fifth full term. She was appointed by former Gov. George Pataki in March 2006, and won her first full four-year term that November.

Campaign spokesman Mark Grossman said Pascale "intends to run a positive campaign that focuses on her outstanding record of delivering good, honest government services to the taxpayers of Suffolk County."

Pascale earns $197,681 a year as county clerk, according to county budget documents. She also receives an annual state pension of $115,956 from prior government work, according to the state comptroller’s office.

In February, Republicans and Conservatives decided against backing Pascale for reelection. 

The parties instead endorsed Conservative Vincent Puleo, 68, of Nesconset, the Smithtown Town Clerk since 2006, as their candidate for the Nov. 8 election.

Suffolk County Republican Committee chairman Jesse Garcia said the party will not appeal the court decision.

Garcia said after reviewing Pascale's record, party leaders decided she no longer espoused GOP values and “we saw she embraced the same COVID mandates" as former Gov. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Gov. Kathy Hochul, both Democrats.

For instance, Garcia said residents and others still have to drop their filings in bins outside the clerk's office. 

Grossman countered: "Anybody who knows Judy knows that those comments are so ludicrous and false it’s laughable. Her political philosophy is diametrically opposed to that of Kathy Hochul.”

Latest videos