Gov. Paul LePage has nominated four lawyers to become District Court judges and one retired Superior Court judge to continue hearing cases on an active retired basis.

LePage announced the nominations on Monday as a step toward filling seven vacancies on the state’s District Court bench, which have been causing delays at both the District Court and Superior Court levels.

The District Court nominees are Maria Woodman of Monmouth, who has served as a District Court family law magistrate since 2012; Paul Mathews of Newcastle, who has served as a District Court family law magistrate since 1998; Jed French of Yarmouth, a managing law partner in a private firm; and Michael Roberts of Bangor, who has worked as a prosecutor for the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office since 1983.

LePage nominated recently retired Superior Court Justice Paul Frizsche of Kennebunk, who served on the Superior Court bench for 29 years, to continue serving as an active retired justice.

“As governor, I have the utmost respect for those serving in the Judicial Branch,” LePage said in a written statement announcing the nominations. “In choosing judges, my focus is on the qualifications, demeanor and integrity of the candidates. These nominees reflect those priorities. I am confident that these nominees will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges.”

All judicial nominees are first vetted by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and must be confirmed by the Senate.

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