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Long IslandPolitics

Supreme Court candidates get cross-endorsements

Hon. Arthur M. Diamond, Republican candidate for New

Hon. Arthur M. Diamond, Republican candidate for New York State Supreme Court Justice, poses for a portrait at GOP county headquarters in Westbury on Friday, June 2, 2017. Credit: James Escher

Republican and Democratic leaders in Nassau County have agreed to name two Republican judges in a cross-endorsement deal, while Suffolk Democrats have made a similar deal with minor parties to jointly back one Democrat and one Conservative judge.

Completing a two-year agreement, Nassau Democrats will back Republican State Supreme Court Justices Thomas Feinman, 67, of Syosset, and Arthur Diamond, 65, of New Hyde Park for new terms.

They will be nominated at the bicounty Republican judicial convention Wednesday night at Levittown Hall.

The cross-endorsements come after Republicans last year backed Democrats Joseph Lorintz and Edmund Dane for Supreme Court in a presidential year when the GOP had feared its judicial candidates might not do well.

Also, the Suffolk Conservative and Independence Parties have agreed to back incumbent Democratic State Supreme Court Justice William Rebolini, 60, of Huntington. Suffolk Democrats will back Conservative District Court Judge Linda Kevins, 62, of Mt. Sinai, for a Supreme Court vacancy created because Carol McKenzie of Huntington is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Supreme Court justices will make a $203,245 annually next year and have 14-year terms. They can be eligible to continue work after 70, for two year periods, to a maximum of six years with the approval of the Office of Court Administration.

Nassau and Suffolk Democrats will hold their judicial nominating convention Sept. 25 at the Holiday Inn in Plainview. The Independence Party will hold their convention the same night. The Suffolk Conservatives will hold their convention Friday at the American Legion in Islip.

Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle did not return calls for comment Monday. Several town GOP leaders say LaValle has not told them whom the party will nominate for the two Suffolk state Supreme Court spots at Tuesday night’s convention.

Bill Ellis, Smithtown GOP chairman, said LaValle and town leaders normally meet during the week before the convention, to settle on nominations.

“It’s wacky. This is something that has never happened before in all the years I’ve been involved,” said Ellis, a LaValle critic who has been active in the party for 50 years.

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