George J. Mitchell

U.S. Senate : Campaign Records, 1974-1988 [bulk 1981-1988].

30.5 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M202.6.5

Background Note:
After Senator Mitchell's appointment to the Senate in 1980, the people of Maine elected him to his first full senate term in 1982. Mitchell won his second complete term in 1988. The official title of Mitchell's campaign effort for both elections was the "Mitchell for Senate Campaign."

In 1982 Senator Mitchell defeated four-term Republican congressman David Emery of Maine's 1st Congressional District. Mitchell captured 61% of the vote after starting the campaign with a significant deficit in the polls. Important issues in the contest included the nuclear arms race and defense issues, including those directly affecting Maine, the economy, and Social Security. Senator Mitchell often cited his own legislative work on acid rain, contending that he carried on the tradition of Senator Muskie.

In 1988 Senator Mitchell retained his Senate seat as he defeated Republican Jasper Wyman, winning 81% of the vote. Wyman was a former member of the Maine House of Representatives and the executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine. Many issues in the campaign focused on Senator Mitchell's voting record, particularly on defense, foreign policy and appropriations bills.

Senator Mitchell's election records were created from 1981 through 1982 and 1987 through 1988, but include some earlier dated materials. They are campaign subject files with poll results and statistics, candidate information, position papers, correspondence, drafts of scripts for media presentations, finance committee notes, drafts of newsletters and other mailings, and other campaign records such as financial records--check stubs, photocopies of checks and deposit slips, statements, invoices, and Federal Election Commission reports. Files also contain memos, fundraising lists and plans for events, itineraries, briefing books, correspondence with advisors and consultants about campaign issues, as well as statements, campaign videos and ads, press clippings, individual contribution cards, and memorabilia.

Numerous files concern Emery's candidacy in 1982 and Wyman's in 1988. Significant issues include environmental protection, nuclear arms limitations, Maine veterans, fundraising, the state and national economy, and various political action committees (PACs), among others. Among Mitchell's advisors and assistants were Edmund Muskie (honorary campaign chairman), Leon Billings, Larry Benoit, Barbara McGough, and David Johnson in 1982 and Mary McAleney and Martha Pope in 1988.

Access Restrictions: Some material is stored offsite (see subseries descriptions) and must be requested at least 4 full business days in advance for retrieval; 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