Attorney Bryan Chabot of Wells successfully unseated embattled York County Probate Judge Robert Nadeau in Tuesday’s race for the part-time elected position.

Nadeau, who was recently suspended from the bench for a second time, held a slight lead over two challengers as ballots were still being counted after midnight Wednesday.

Nadeau, of Biddedford, was challenged by Chabot and attorney Bernard Broder of Old Orchard Beach, both of whom said they ran to restore dignity and respect to the busy court, which oversees wills and the distribution of estates.

With 41 of 43 precincts, 95 percent, reporting Wednesday morning, ballot totals showed Chabot with 38,131 votes, or 40 percent; Nadeau with 34,288 votes, or 36 percent; and Broder with 23,605 votes, or 25 percent.

In July, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ordered Nadeau, 61, to be suspended from the bench for 30 days for improperly using his judicial position to try to influence the outcome of a personal legal case in which he was seeking a protection-from-harassment order against a former girlfriend.

The high court justices cited discipline that Nadeau received in two prior cases as part of the reason for the new public censure and suspension. He has been publicly reprimanded multiple times and was suspended from his judicial duties for 30 days in 2007 for lying about campaign opponents.

Nadeau began serving his latest suspension on Oct. 3 without pay. His annual salary is $54,206 for working two days per week.

Nadeau was first elected York County probate judge in 1996 and was re-elected in 2000 and 2004. He was defeated in 2008 after his earlier suspension but was elected again in 2012.

Nadeau said he was seeking another term because the probate court needs an experienced judge with the patience, compassion and responsiveness to hear sensitive cases and handle a busy docket.

Chabot, 37, is a lifelong York County resident who has a private law practice in Sanford. An Army veteran of Bosnia and Iraq, he has handled felony jury trials and district, superior and probate court cases. He said his experience and character made him the best candidate for the judge’s seat.

Broder, 58, has a private law practice in Gorham. He said his education and experience in public service working with youths and people with substance abuse issues prepared him for the probate position. If elected, Broder said he would close his private practice.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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