Libby Mitchell’s husband, children and grandchildren were with her as usual Sunday, when former President Bill Clinton rallied the crowd at the Lewiston Armory.

Later, Mitchell was scheduled to visit supporters at get-out-the-vote operations in Lewiston, Bath and Brunswick. Then she planned to attend a children’s Halloween parade and accompany her grandchildren when they went trick-or-treating in Portland’s West End.

Mitchell regularly refers to her family on the campaign trail for the Maine governor’s seat, describing them as the inspiration for her work to improve education, reform health care, protect the environment and shore up the economy.

She notes that all of them left Maine after high school, but they have returned to start businesses and families. She also points out that some of her grandchildren attend public schools, including King Middle School in Portland, which is nationally recognized for its Expeditionary Learning Program.

The Mitchell family reciprocates the candidate’s pride and affection, whether Jim Mitchell is ferrying his wife from one campaign stop to another, or one of their children is filling in.

They all appreciate her high energy, commitment to public service and thick skin, which has taken some hits during a tough campaign.

“She’s tireless and she loves what she’s doing,” said daughter J. Elizabeth Mitchell, who has represented Portland in the Maine House. Her son Charles Mitchell also has served in the House, representing Vassalboro.

For two of her four children, Mitchell’s example is leading the way as they seek political office in Tuesday’s election.

“She has more energy than anyone I’ve ever met in my life,” said daughter Emily Mitchell, who is running for the House District 58 seat in Vassalboro.

Her son Will Mitchell, who is running for the District 3 seat on the Portland City Council, said his mother is able to deflect criticism from her opponents because she has confidence in her past decisions.

“She’s got thick skin,” he said. “Her opponents are bullies in the way they treat her sometimes, but it doesn’t faze her.”

 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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