Sean Paulhus, Bath’s Democratic state representative, on Friday resigned to take an appointment by Gov. Janet Mills as the new Sagadahoc County register of probate.

Paulhus, who recently sponsored legislation to restore Maine’s original 1901 pine tree state flag, left in the middle of his third consecutive term.

Sean Paulhus recently sponsored legislation to restore Maine’s 1901 state flag. Courtesy of Sean Paulhus

“It has been an honor to serve as our community’s state representative for the past four and a half years,” Paulhus said in a statement. “I am proud to have been a part of all the work we accomplished for Bath and for the people of Maine, and I look forward to continuing to serve our county in this new capacity.”

He will replace current Register of Probate Jean Guzzetti, who is stepping down to run for state Senate in 2024 and attend the University of Maine School of Law in August. Guzzetti, also a Bath Democrat, has served as register of probate since 2021.

“It’s been an incredible learning experience as well as a good opportunity to connect with people,” she said. “Working at the court has been really inspiring, and I just want to add to my toolbox to serve people of the county.”

Guzzetti was appointed by Mills in October 2021. She defeated Republican Christopher Hickman of Topsham in the 2022 election.


Jean Guzzetti. Courtesy of Jean Guzzetti

The register of probate is an elected position with a four-year term. The register manages the daily operations of the probate court, which processes petitions for adoptions, guardianship, conservatorship, name changes and wills, among other duties.

Paulhus’ appointment runs through 2024. State law dictates that a vacancy of a register of probate may be filled by appointment until the next biennial election.

Paulhus, 37, is a lifelong Bath resident and has extensive government experience. He was elected to the Bath City Council at 22 and served for 13 years. He worked as an assistant in Maine’s Office of the State Auditor and was sergeant at arms of the Maine Senate.

He said he applied for register of probate because it’s a “better fit now for my family and me.” He’s married and has four children.

Paulhus said he was proud of his flag bill, arguing the old flag is a better representation of Maine. His proposal could go to a citizen referendum in November. He said he’s also proud of sponsoring L.D. 87, which would allow the governor during a state of emergency to distribute up to $400,000 to food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens to feed people in need.

Guzzetti said Paulhus “has the right demeanor to help people through some of these difficult times” in the probate process. He will start his new position Wednesday.


In 2022, Paulhus defeated Republican Jason Desjardins, winning 71% of the vote en route to reelection.

Paulhus’s legislative term runs through 2024. Mills could call for a special election if Bath’s City Council requests it. The winner would finish the remainder of Paulhus’ term. Otherwise, Paulhus’ seat would remain vacant until what would have been the end of his term.

Bath, which has a single state representative for the whole city, is a Democratic stronghold, with 3,283 registered Democrats, 1,560 registered Republicans and 2,307 unenrolled residents, according to 2022 state data.

Democrats currently have a 12-member majority over Republicans in the House.

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