Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), Maine politics, Mitchell Institute, U.S. Senate campaign (1982)
Barbara (McKnight) Trafton was born May 22, 1949, in Rumford, Maine. She was graduated from Wellesley College with the class of 1971, then attended the University of Southern Maine and earned an M.Ed., and later went to Northeastern for an M.B.A. She has served in the Maine state House and state Senate for two terms and has been a member of the following committees: Joint Committee, Energy Health and Institutional Services in the House; Joint Committees in the Senate: Judiciary and Public Utilities. She served as the Maine Democratic National Committeewoman, was spokesperson for Maine Turnpike widening in 1991, and is on the Board of the Maine Audubon Society, chairman of the Legislative Policy Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Maine Maritime Academy, and the Review Committee for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). She served on the Board of the Mitchell Institute for several years. She has been deeply involved in Maine politics for decades, hosting many candidate events and serving as one of four campaign co-chairs in George Mitchell’s 1982 U.S. Senate campaign.
Interview includes discussion of: meeting and first impressions of George Mitchell; 1974 gubernatorial campaign; Marty Engstrom story; 1982 U.S. Senate campaign strategy and four campaign chairs; Edmund Muskie; Dave Emery; convention to elect Maine Democratic Committeeperson; stumping for Chip Bull with Edward Kennedy; lollipop story and Sam Trafton; formation of the Mitchell Institute and allocation of scholarships; benefit of the Mitchell Institute’s study on reaching secondary education; and Mitchell’s emphasis on the value of education.
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