John Rouse, Democrat, Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent.

John Rouse, Democrat, Town of Brookhaven Highway Superintendent. Credit: Patrick Oehler

Suffolk Republicans named Democrat John Rouse, Brookhaven's highway superintendent, as their candidate for County Court judge Thursday night.

The party also named Denise Molia, now a State Supreme Court justice who had been seeking re-election to the 14-year post, as a candidate for Family Court judge, which has a 10-year term.

Rouse, who was present at the convention at the Smithtown Elks Lodge, said he was "humbled and honored by the Republican nomination."

Jesse Garcia, Brookhaven GOP chairman who pushed for Rouse's nomination, said he doesn't expect any difficulty with Rouse being a Democrat because Rouse was once a Republican prosecutor. Garcia added that the GOP has endorsed Rouse when he ran as a Democrat to be highway superintendent.

Molia later declined to comment when asked for a reaction to her nomination.

John Jay LaValle, Suffolk Republican chairman, said Molia "is a great judge," but noted there was a lot of competition for the two State Supreme Court slots and "she decided on certainty instead of the liquidity" of vying for a Supreme Court seat.

LaValle also said it appeared that the other State Supreme Court Justice James M. Catterson appeared safe for renomination, to formally occur in September, although some details still need to be worked out.

The party did not renominate County Court Judge Gary Weber of Southampton for his county judgeship but LaValle said he was still in contention for another judgeship.

The party also nominated District Court Judge John Iliou for the County Court judgeship now held by James F.X. Doyle, an Independence Party member who this year reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Republicans also designated candidates for Congress: 1st C.D., Randy Altschuler; 2nd C.D., Steve Labate; and 3rd C.D., Peter King.

The GOP nominated all its incumbents for State Senate and Assembly and named the following Assembly challengers: Deborah McKee, 4th District and Manuel Troche, 6th District. GOP officials left vacant nominations in the 1st A.D. against Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Habor) and the 11th A.D. against Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst).

Catterson, first elected 14 years ago, is the son of late Suffolk District Attorney James M. Catterson Jr.

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