George J. Mitchell

U.S. Senate : Campaign Records. 1982 Election.

11 linear feet.
Arranged by subject.
Catalog Number: M202.6.5.1

Background Note:
In 1982, George J. Mitchell ran for one of Maine's U.S. Senate seats after having been appointed to the position vacated by Edmund Muskie in 1980. The "Mitchell for Senate Campaign" was challenged by four-term Republican congressman David Emery of Maine's 1st District. Mitchell began his election campaign with low poll ratings, dubbed by some members of the press as, "George Who?" Through diligent fund-raising efforts and frequent campaign appearances, Mitchell and staff quickly gained momentum. Mitchell's campaign stressed his concern for environmental issues, especially those having a direct impact on the people and economy of Maine. Mitchell also supported stringent legislation to curtail the harmful effects of acid rain as well as revised Clean Air and Clean Water acts. Mitchell also addressed issues including the Dickey-Lincoln Dam; defense spending; the federal deficit and national budget; veterans' affairs; and Social Security, among others. A pivotal point in the race occurred when the Emery campaign released a press statement citing that Mitchell had received a 0% rating from an interest group concerning votes on veteran's issues. The votes used in the rating were all taken before Mitchell's appointment, and staff and supporters were quick to demand that the Emery camp recant the statement. The controversy arising from this incident helped Mitchell to quickly gain ground on Emery in the polls. With support from the strong Maine State Democratic Committee and successful showings on two televised debates, Mitchell won the seat with 61% of the vote.

Records were created between the Muskie Senatorial Campaign of 1975 through 1976 and Mitchell's successful race in 1982. They contain subject files with correspondence, poll results and statistics, debate books, drafts, mailings, schedules, clippings, fundraising materials, invoices, bills, check stubs, deposit slips, contribution cards, and Federal Election Commission reports. Specific issues and events mentioned in the files include fundraising efforts; Mitchell-Emery debates; revised Clean Air and Clean Water Acts; the Moffett-Gregg Bill for acid rain control; the Kassebaum defense amendment; abortion legislation; FEC procedure; and nuclear freeze among others.

In his election against Dave Emery in 1982, Mitchell relied upon a competent pool of advisors and administrative assistants including: Edmund Muskie (honorary chairman), Larry Benoit [campaign manager], David Johnson, Sharon Sudbay, Barbara McGough, Charles Jacobs, Steven Morrison, Cynthia Carroll, and many others.

Access Restrictions: This subseries is stored offsite and must be requested at least 4 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Special Collections & Archives. No other restrictions.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · · (207) 725-3288