Voters in the Southbury probate court district will head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 2 in seven towns to select their probate judge.

Republican Domenic Calabrese, 49, in his eighth year as judge in the present Woodbury probate district, is running against Democrat John Fertig Jr., 64, serving his eighth, four-year term in Oxford.

Both men are the endorsed candidates of their respective parties.

The new district serves seven towns -- Roxbury, Washington, Southbury, Woodbury, Watertown, Bethlehem and Oxford -- with a total population of more than 73,000.

The district seat will be in Southbury starting when it goes into effect in January 2011.

Judge Calabrese, an attorney with a law practice in Watertown, has already overseen the consolidation of probate districts. Woodbury and Watertown were combined in his first year on the bench.

He said he knows how to "minimize the disruption" to residents during the consolidation. The Woodbury/Watertown consolidation was one of the largest, by population, in the state before the present redistricting, he noted.

Judge Fertig has served as probate judge in Oxford since 1979. He is also a practicing attorney with law offices in Prospect and Oxford.

He believes he can maintain the same personalized attention residents of the smaller districts are now receiving.

"Most of the courts in our seven towns are small," said Judge Fertig, whose present Oxford district serves 13,000 residents.