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Suffolk Republicans to nominate Supreme Court candidates

Supreme Court Judge Robert Lifson is sen

Supreme Court Judge Robert Lifson is sen on August 13, 2008 in Central Islip, New York. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Suffolk Republicans Tuesday night were expected to put forward two former judges, Robert Lifson of Huntington and Richard Hoffmann of Hauppauge, as their candidates for State Supreme Court.

Both men, who were scheduled to be nominated at a bicounty judicial convention at Levittown Hall, face an uphill battle because of other parties’ cross-endorsement deals in both counties.

Lifson, 67, served 14 years as a Supreme Court justice, five of them in the appellate division. He lost re-election in 2008.

Hoffman, 62, a former Family Court judge, is seeking to return to the bench after failing to get the nomination last year for a second term.

Suffolk Republicans had dropped him to make room to nominate Islip GOP chairman Frank Tantone for the 10-year post, which Tantone later won.

Lifson’s and Hoffmann’s prospects are challenging because Nassau Republicans have made a cross-endorsement deal with county Democrats, to back incumbent Republicans Thomas Feinman, 67, of Syosset, and Arthur Diamond, 65, of New Hyde Park for two Nassau Supreme Court spots.

Suffolk Democrats have made a similar deal with county Conservatives and the Independence Party to cross-endorse Democratic Supreme Court Justice William Rebolini, 60, of Huntington. Democrats also will back Conservative District Court Judge Linda Kevins, 62, of Mount Sinai, for Supreme Court.

When Lifson lost re-election in 2008 he had only the Republican and minor party Working Families ballot lines — while Democrats, Conservative and Independence parties cross-endorsed each other’s candidates.

There are four Supreme Court seats up for election in Nassau and Suffolk.

Some political officials say their candidacies in tough races this year may help them get party support in future judicial runs.

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