Democrat Sean Paulhus of Bath has resigned from the District 50 seat in the Maine House of Representatives.

Paulhus told House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross in a letter Friday that he was leaving office to take a job as the Sagadahoc County Register of Probate. He was appointed by Gov. Janet Mills to fill a vacancy.

Sean Paulhus Courtesy Sean Paulhus

A special election will be held at a future date to fill his House seat, which is a safe Democratic-leaning district.

Paulhus is serving his third term in House. He made waves this year with his bill to change the state flag from its current design of a state seal flanked by a seaman and a farmer on a blue field to the state’s original 1901 flag with a pine tree and a blue star on a white field.

The bill, which was amended to require a statewide referendum, squeaked through in the House and Senate. It’s expected to be approved and sent to Mills when the Senate reconvenes for its final day of work on July 25.

Paulhus has won each of his three elections by a wide margin, most recently in 2022, when he secured nearly 71% of the vote.


Paulhus, who previously served 10 years on the Bath City Council and had worked in the State Auditor’s Office, Maine Senate Secretary’s Office and as Sergeant at Arms for the Senate, needed to resign his House seat to become a county register of probate.

A spokesperson for Mills said the governor believes Paulhus has the professional and public service experience to take on management of the Sagadahoc County Probate Court. “As Register of Probate, Paulhus will be able to draw from his experience as a former state employee, Bath City Councilor, and State Representative to oversee the daily operations of the court and ensure it is responsive to the people of Sagadahoc County,” Ben Goodman said in an email.

Paulhus is replacing Jean Guzzetti, who recently resigned. His term will expire on Dec. 31, 2024. The register of probate currently earns $67,000 a year, according to a county official.

Registers of probate, as well as probate judges, are elected in each of Maine’s 16 counties and serve four-year terms.

A register of probate is responsible for the daily operations of the probate court, which handles legal cases concerning wills and estates, guardianships, name changes and a few other family-related issues. The register’s job includes managing the court’s caseload, supervising the work of the deputy register and clerk, developing the budget, preparing documents for hearings, issuing legal documents and attending all hearings on guardianships, conservatorships and formal probates.

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