Promising to make decisions based on facts and the law, the Republican candidates for Judge of Probate outlined their ideas for improving the current system during a debate Saturday, May 19.

Searsport Attorney Aaron Fethke and Belfast Attorney Randy Mailloux decided to throw their hats in the ring because of their dissatisfaction with current state of the probate court. Speaking in front of a small crowd in Union Hall in Searsport, both candidates outlined the changes they would like to make if elected.

Fethke has been practicing law for eight years and handles civil and criminal cases. He also has dealt with the probate courts over contested issues such as, guardianships.

Mailloux has practiced law for 34 years and served as the Judge of Probate for over seven years. His prior experiencing serving in the position played a large role in his decision to run once again.

When asked specifically what they would change if elected, Mailloux said he would make sure Waldo County participated in the electronic filing system that will be open to all counties in the coming months.

“There are many reasons why electronic filing is appropriate. It’s a savings to the county because you don’t have to come up with more storage space. Storage can be a major issue and it’s expensive,” Mailloux said.

Fethke agreed with Mailloux about implementing an electronic filing system and also said he would strive to maintain a thriving law practice. He said practicing as an attorney while serving as a probate judge would allow him to make better decisions.

“What you do as attorney makes you better on the bench, and what you do on the bench makes you a better attorney,” Fethke said. “I would definitely strive to maintain a vigorous law practice, but the probate court will always come first.”

One of the final questions fielded by the candidates was where they see the probate court going in the future. Mailloux said he would like to make sure all parties are fairly represented and that attorneys are being appointed in an appropriate amount of time.

“My vision is to put the court back in the condition it was eight years ago when I left. It should be a meaningful and fair court. I’ve spent my entire adult life working and living in the law. I would like to honor the court and honor the people who use it for justice and protection,” Mailloux said.

Fethke said he would strive to make sure every person who appears in the probate court is not only represented, but also having their rights met. He acknowledged the decisions he makes might not always be popular but those decisions would based entirely on the facts and how those facts apply to the law.

“Four years from now I want to be someone who is a true servant of the law. We should be ruled by law and not by men,” Fethke said.

Voters will have the opportunity to select Fethke or Mailloux during the June 12 primary. The winner will move on as the Republican candidate in the general election.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.