Republican Domenick Calabrese was elected judge of the newly formed Southbury probate district Tuesday by a nearly 7,000 vote margin. The new seven-town district includes Roxbury and Washington.

Judge Calabrese defeated Democrat John Fertig Jr., who is judge of the Oxford probate court.

"I'm very pleased," Mr. Calabrese said Wednesday. "The message of my experience resonated with the voters, who knew I was the candidate with the experience to oversee the upcoming changes in the probate system with the minimum of disruption."

Mr. Calabrese, 49, is in his eighth year as judge of the Woodbury Probate District. He ran on a platform of experience in consolidation of probate districts, having overseen the Woodbury and Watertown consolidation.

Mr. Fertig, 64, has served as probate judge in Oxford since 1979. He ran on a platform of maintaining the personalized attention residents are now receiving.

"We both ran good clean campaigns," Mr. Fertig said. "It was a tough race. I was only known in one town, while he was known in three. Given that the district is predominantly Republican and this was a difficult year for Democrats, it was like a perfect storm converging on me."

The newly formed Southbury probate district will serve Roxbury, Washington, Southbury, Woodbury, Watertown, Bethlehem and Oxford when it into effect in January.

-- Susan Tuz