AUGUSTA — A Hallowell resident who is Gov. John Baldacci’s chief legal counsel earned unanimous support today from the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee in his bid to become a District Court judge.

Patrick Ende, who worked for 16 years at Pine Tree Legal helping low-income residents before taking a job in the governor’s office, will now have his name forwarded to the Senate for consideration. If confirmed, he will be eligible to serve a seven year term as a judge.

A native of New York, Ende came to Presque Isle to work for Pine Tree in the early 1980s after earning a law degree at New York University. He later moved to the Augusta branch of Pine Tree and in 1998, became litigation director for Maine Equal Justice. He came to work for Baldacci in 2004 as a senior policy adviser and became chief legal counsel in 2008.

“I believe I have the temperament and the integrity to do this,” he told the committee.

The state Senate will vote on his nomination during a confirmation session set for next Wednesday.

Ende was the first of four judicial nominees facing hearings today.

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