U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the front-runner in the race for governor, has been endorsed by one of Maine’s most senior statesmen, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

“Maine’s next governor will face serious challenges,” Mitchell said. “I’m confident that Mike’s experience at both the state level – where he chaired the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee and presided over an evenly divided Senate – and at the federal level as a ranking member in Congress, make him ideally suited to bring stability to the state budget, tackle the problems facing Maine businesses and restore a spirit of bipartisan cooperation in Augusta.”

Sen. Mitchell served as U.S. Senator from Maine from 1980-1995 and as Senate majority leader from 1989-1995. He played a lead role in negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, serving as U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland under President Bill Clinton and as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under President Barack Obama. He began his political career serving as executive assistant to Maine Senator Edmond S. Muskie from 1962-1965.

“I am extremely honored to earn the support of Sen. Mitchell, whose years of service to the great state of Maine have served as an inspiration to me in my own career in public service,” Michaud said. “Now more than ever, Maine needs leaders willing to put partisanship aside and forge compromise to address the challenges facing our state, and that’s something I’ve prided myself on doing throughout my career.”

Sen. Mitchell serves as the honorary chairman of the Mitchell Institute, a scholarship organization he founded whose mission is to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue and achieve a college education.

“Mike has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to put the public interest above party or personal interest and to bring opposing groups together,” Sen. Mitchell said. “He has a forward-looking vision and a concrete, long-term plan to improve our economy. Maine needs effective, experienced leadership to meet our state’s challenges. That’s why I’m supporting Mike Michaud for governor.”

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