Nov. 9—AUGUSTA — Republican Matthew Boucher will be Kennebec County's next register of deeds, edging out incumbent Democrat Diane Wilson.
In unofficial results of Tuesday's voting, Boucher earned 30,265 votes to Wilson's 27,837.
Boucher, 35, who owns Aurora Marketing and is a graphic designer, said he'll be the full-time register of deeds starting in January, when he'll be sworn in.
"I spent a lot of time knocking on doors," he said. "I did that in Augusta a lot and in Gardiner."
The themes that came up were voters' lack of knowledge about county elected positions, he said, and about title fraud, based on television commercials they had seen.
Boucher, who lives in Oakland, is the second Republican in this election cycle to be elected to county office in Kennebec County. Joseph Pietroski Jr., also a Republican, was elected District 2 Kennebec County commissioner, defeating Democrat Charlotte Warren.
Wilson, 63, has not run for elective office before. She was appointed register of deeds in 2021 following the retirement of Democrat Beverly Bustin-Hatheway, who stepped down after 19 years in that position. Wilson has worked for the registry of deeds for 25 years.
Generally, Kennebec County's voters have been distributed fairly evenly among Democrats, Republicans and unenrolled voters. As of Oct. 21, there were 27,239 Democrats, 26,410 Republicans and 22,623 unenrolled voters, as well as 3,474 Green Party members and 91 Libertarians.
Despite the fairly even distribution, Democrats have largely had a lock on county elected positions. With the exception of Sheriff Ken Mason, who has been elected twice as an independent, the other offices have been held by Democrats.
In Maine, the registry of deeds maintains and preserves all documents and plans recorded at the registry. In Kennebec County, those records date to the late 1700s, and now include mortgages, contracts, deeds, liens and plans. The duties of the office and register are spelled out in state law.
It is one of the few county offices that generates revenue for the county, lessening the amount of money to be raised through property tax to support county operations.
The register of deeds position is paid an annual salary of $54,415 in Kennebec County.