Ritacco to challenge Kepple for probate judge

Incumbent Democratic Nicholas F. Kepple of Stonington will be challenged in the November election by Republican Salvatore Ritacco of Pawcatuck in the race for Southeastern Connecticut Regional Probate Court judge.

Both men were endorsed by their respective conventions last week for the position which handles probate issues for the towns of Groton, Ledyard, Stonington and North Stonington.

Kepple defeated Republican Eric Janney in a 2011 special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge Frederick W. Palm Jr.

Kepple was re-elected in 2014. A Stonington attorney for almost 30 years, Kepple, who served as Stonington first selectman from 1987 to 1989, is married with four adult children.

“Serving as probate judge has been an honor and privilege because I have been able to assist so many devoted family and friends help their loved ones during difficult times involving estates, conservatorships, children’s matters and the Court’s diverse other responsibilities,” Kepple said after being endorsed by the Democratic convention.

Ritacco, a Pawcatuck attorney for the past 10 years, said had been encouraged to run by the late Paul Cravinho, who served for many years as the Stonington probate judge before the town merged to form the regional court.

Ritacco, who is married, said that if elected he will work to find ways to better protect the elderly and their families by having a forum for local attorneys and the court to discuss navigating the probate court.

“The probate process involves serious issues that require full-time attention — whether in cases of adoption, conservatorship, guardianship, or probating an estate. I want the community to know that I am committed to giving each individual full-time attention they deserve,” he said.

Ritacco is a board member of the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce and is active with the Stonington Economic Development Committee.




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