Benoit, Larry, Democratic National Committee, Driving, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), Mitchell family, Presidential campaign (1972), U.S. Senate campaign (1982)
Bruce Chandler was born May 6, 1931, in Nahant, Massachusetts, to Henry Warwick Chandler and Florence Johnson Chandler. His father worked for General Electric Company and became assistant to the vice president of the Jet Engine Division. His mother was a teacher before marriage, then a homemaker. Bruce went to Bates College, and after graduating in 1953 he was drafted into the armed forces from 1954 to 1956. Later, he attended law school at Georgetown University, then moved back to Maine and became a lawyer in 1961. During twenty-four years being involved in Maine state politics, he served as an assistant county attorney and, later, as general counsel for the Democratic State Committee. He was also on the judicial bench for ten years. Chandler ran for mayor of Waterville and county attorney but failed to win election to either office.
Nancy Chandler was born in August of 1933 in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Her family moved throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania during her childhood. Her father was a salesman for several different companies, including Proctor & Gamble and Frigidaire. She attended Bates College, graduating in 1955. After college, she helped with mayoral campaigns, including one for her husband, Bruce Chandler. After working briefly in politics at the local and state levels, she became a National Committeewoman for the state of Maine. While in that post, she was appointed to the Charter and Site Selection Committees for the National Convention, and she also worked with Ken Curtis and with George Mitchell on his 1982 Senate reelection campaign. She also belonged to the Democratic State Committee and worked on Senator Muskie’s 1972 presidential campaign.
Interview includes discussion of: renting a house from John Mitchell in Waterville; the Mitchell family; Nancy’s running for the Democratic National Committee the same time that George Mitchell was running for governor; Bruce’s driving Mitchell in the 1974 campaign; the dynamics of the 1974 campaign; Republican candidate Jim Erwin; differences between the 1974 and 1982 campaigns; Larry Benoit; and how Mitchell developed as a person and a professional.
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