BELFAST, Maine — With Belfast votes still being tallied Wednesday morning, Randy Mailloux had a substantial lead in the two-way Republican primary for Waldo County Judge of Probate.
The Belfast attorney was leading Searsport lawyer Aaron Fethke by 1,275 votes to 606, or by a more than two-to-one margin.
Mailloux said he is gearing up to race against incumbent Susan Longley, who has served as probate judge for eight years. It will be a repeat matchup of the 2004 race, when Longley, a Democrat, took the position away from then-incumbent Mailloux.
“As they say in politics, we intend to wage a vigorous campaign,” Mailloux said. “It really is important that people understand how important this race is.”
Decisions made in probate court can have major consequences. For example, the judge determines whether to take children away from a family along with handling guardianships, conservatorships and the administration of wills, among other tasks. But few in the general population understand that, Mailloux said.
He says the judge should be the person with the most judicial — and not political — experience.
“The way you become able to sit behind the bench, in my opinion, is to practice years in front of the bench,” Mailloux said.