AUBURN — Joshua Klein-Golden is the closer of Androscoggin County.

For the third time in seven years, Klein-Golden has been called upon by a Maine governor to complete the term of an elected official in the county’s probate office.

The latest example came Wednesday when Gov. Paul LePage appointed Klein-Golden as Register of Probate. He replaces Brian Bolduc, who resigned from the post last fall after barely nine months on the job.

The appointment is effective March 23.

“There’s been a number of people serving in that position and I wanted to be there to help stabilize it for the time being,” Klein-Golden said. “I know what to do. I know the duties, and I work well with the judge and the two staff members who are there full time.”  

 This is the second time LePage has appointed the Democrat to a county office. In 2011, the governor named him Judge of Probate for Androscoggin County to complete the term of Robert Couturier.

Klein-Golden, an attorney who lives in Durham, also served as Register of Probate for approximately 18 months when Gov. John Baldacci appointed him in 2009 after Leonard Bartels resigned within days of winning his election.

In each instance, Klein-Golden lost elections to continue his tenure in office.

Klein-Golden also lost an election for county commissioner to Republican Matthew Roy in 2014.

His appointment come as a relief to the county, whose probate office was forced to function shorthanded for the past six months.

“They have kept a wonderfully positive attitude and have worked diligently, but it has been stressful for them,” County Administrator Larry Post said. “I’m sure they are looking forward to the extra help and getting someone back.”

Since his name is not on the ballot this fall, Klein-Golden’s time in office will be brief, serving the final nine months of Bolduc’s term, which ends Dec. 31.

The last three elected Register of Probates — Bartels, Wendy Sanborn and Bolduc — have all resigned from office.

“I want to help stabilize it in the hopes that come November someone is elected who will stay in the position for a long time in the future,” Klein-Golden said.

Democrat Ira Bittues and Republicans Leslie Dubois and Joanna Said are running for the position in November.

With his wife about to give birth in a couple of weeks, Klein-Golden is hoping to delay his start date for a few weeks.

“I’m willing to work with the judge and the deputy register to see if they can wait a little bit so I can spend some time with my new daughter,” he said. “If they need help now and I have to do it sooner, we’ll have to find a way to do that.”

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