Administrative staff, Cohen, William S., Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Muskie, Edmund S., Press relations, U.S. Senate campaign (1982), U.S. Senate culture, Women in politics
Regina Sullivan was born on January 16, 1957, to Richard and Julia Sullivan in the Bronx, New York, and grew up in Washington, DC. Her father was chief counsel to the House Public Works and Transportation Committee and her mother ran a nonprofit organization called Candle Lighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. Regina was graduated from Bishop Dennis J. O’Connell High School and went on to Regis University in Denver, Colorado, where she received a degree in economics. During her senior year of college, she worked for Denver Mayor Bill McNichols. After graduation she returned to Washington, D.C., where she took a temporary job in Senator Ed Muskie’s office. She worked there for approximately four months helping the receptionist and doing filing. She went back to Denver to help run a city council race, and then decided to move back to Washington as a legislative correspondent in Muskie’s office. She stayed on when Mitchell was appointed to fill Muskie’s vacant Senate seat. When Charlie Jacobs came on staff as head of scheduling, she became his assistant. She worked on scheduling in Maine for the 1982 campaign; after Mitchell won the seat, she returned to Washington and worked as the deputy press secretary, later going back to the front office to do scheduling and worked as a liaison between Mitchell’s Senate staff and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) staff. In 1986 she left Mitchell’s office and started a government relations firm, now R. Sullivan & Associates, where she continued to work at the time of this interview.
Interview includes discussion of: Regis University; starting work in Senator Muskie’s office; working on a city council race in Denver, Colorado; working for Mayor McNichols in Denver; learning about Congress while growing up in Washington, D.C.; working as a legislative correspondent for Muskie; the transition in the office when Mitchell was appointed to fill Muskie’s seat; the degree of changeover or continuity in staff between Muskie and Mitchell; Mitchell’s first Banking Committee hearing and Senator Proxmire’s praise of his performance; working on Mitchell’s scheduling in Maine; working in Maine on the 1982 election; Mitchell’s work ethic, especially on the campaign; Mitchell’s relationship with Senator Cohen; 1982 U.S. Senate campaign and David Emery; moving over to the press office; the complications that arose from Mitchell’s attempts to travel back to Maine every weekend; Mitchell’s relationship with the women on his staff; the “fun times” they had on the campaign; commiserating with other senators’ schedulers; what Sullivan learned from and respected about Senators Muskie and Mitchell; the increasing partisanship on Capitol Hill; and Mitchell’s ability to see other opportunities to do public service beyond his Senate career.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.