Democratic National Committee, Maine, Maine Democratic Party, Maine politics, U.S. Senate appointment (1980)
Kenneth Merwin “Ken” Curtis was born on February 8, 1931, in Leeds (Curtis Corner), Maine. He was graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the Maine Maritime Academy and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. In 1959, he earned a law degree from the Portland University School of Law (now the University of Maine School of Law) and opened a private practice. A life-long Democrat, he served as Maine’s secretary of state from 1965-1966 before being elected govern in 1967, an office he held until 1975. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1977-1978 and ambassador to Canada from 1979-1981. From 1986 to 1994 he was president of the Maine Maritime Academy. At the time of this interview, he was senior counsel in the law firm of Curtis Thaxter.
Interview includes discussion of: Curtis’s early life and education; running for governor of the state of Maine; the political climate in Maine in the ‘70s; friendships with Ed Muskie and Jimmy Carter; early impressions of George Mitchell; sugar beets as economic development in Maine; working with Mitchell on the Maine Action Plan; ‘big box’ voting in Maine; Curtis’s posture in Brennan’s decision to fill Muskie’s vacated U.S. Senate seat; how little Maine has changed over time.
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.