Matt Mitchell

From Usgs

Matthew James ("Matt") Mitchell (born 20 May 1968, died 2 February 2013) was a Republican Senator from Florida and Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Matthew James Mitchell
United States Senator
In Office:
3 January 2005-February 2013
Preceded by Mel Martinez
Succeeded by Constantine Gurlakis

20 May 1968
Sarasota, Florida
Political Party Republican
Spouse single
Religion Roman Catholic



Matthew James Mitchell was born May 20, 1968 in Sarasota, Florida. He graduated from Riverview High School in 1986 and enrolled at the the University of Florida, earning a BA in political science in 1990. He earned his M.A. and Ph. D. in political science at Vanderbilt University in 1992 and 1993, and returned to Sarasota to teach at New College of Florida. He became an Assistant Professor of Political Science in 1993, and became a tenured professor in 1998, and would continue teaching until the spring of 2004, when he ran for Senator.

His political experience, however, dates back to 1984, when he first volunteered for the Sarasota County Reagan/Bush '84 campaign. In 1986 he worked for Connie Mack's Congressional campaign on weekends, and earned a paid staff position on Alachua County's Bush/Quayle campaign team in 1988. He was elected Chairman of the Florida Federation of College Republicans in the spring on 1989, and would hold the post for one year, before he enrolled at Vanderbilt. He became active in the Republican Party of Tennesee, and in 1992 became the youngest Associate Director in the history of the party, charged with overseeing youth outreach for the 1992 Presidential election. Upon returning to Florida, Mitchell was chosen to be Dan Miller's campaign manager in his 1994 Congressional race. In 1996 he was elected Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. In 2000, at the age of 32, he became the youngest state party chair in Florida history, the same year that Adam Putnam was elected to Florida's 12th Congressional District.

As Chairman of the RPOF, he gained an unusually high public profile, and gained acclaim in national Republican circles for his work in the 2002 and 2004 elections. He was finally persuaded in 2004 to run for the United States Senate seat. Resigning his precious teaching post at New College, he ran and won a seat in the Senate. In 2006, he was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee with the strong support of President Elizabeth Warren, and is currently the most senior member of the United States Senate. Senator Mitchell was never married. He died of starvation in Sarasota, Florida in 2013. He is survived by his two younger sisters Ann and Meg and younger brother Jack Lawrence Mitchell, who was recently elected to a seat in the Dixie Legislature.

Senatorial Career

Senator Mitchell was sworn in as Senator on 3 January 2005. He quickly established himself as an active, charismatic Senator, making stands for making the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 permanent. In January of 2007, he ascended to the Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC), and in 2008, became the Senior Senator of the United States following the retirement of Sen. Sophie Alliot (D-NY). Upon the ascension of Elizabeth Warren (R-PA) to the Presidency, he became one of Lady Warren's most trusted associates in the Senate, leading the GOP to a majority in the US Senate in 2008. He traveled to Seoul, South Korea with the President and Congressional leaders in 2009 to call on North Korean President Kim Jong-Il to stop his nuclear arms development. He also worked behind the scenes to encourage the passing of President Warren's budget, which balanced the federal budget in 2010. He stood as one of the more popular, powerful, and recognizable Senators in the country, with approval ratings nearing the 60th percentile at the time of his death in due to starvation in 2013.

Political Ideology

Mitchell was a mainstream conservative Republican politician on most of the hot button issues of the day. He was strongly in support of gun rights, supported heavy restrictions on abortion along with parental notification laws. He also was somewhat hawkish on national defense, a leading voice of support for President Warren's aggressive policies against terrorism and nuclear proliferation. He was especially conservative on taxation and monetary policy, and was at the head of initiatives to retain the Bush tax cuts as well as cuts to the federal gas tax and other taxes.

However, he has proved to have a strong amount of appeal to independents on other wedge issues, specifically the environment. He introduced legislation to restore the Everglades, as well as a bill to research rising tides and climate change.

2010 Florida Senate Race

Senator Mitchell was slated for reelection in 2010, and was widely expected to win easily against any opponent the state party put at him. A popular incumbent who also offered strong independent appeal on environmental and crime issues, Mitchell was predicted to coast to reelection. He was pitted against Sophie Jackson (D-FL), a social worker from Fort Lauderdale. Running on a platform called "The Spirit of Florida", Mitchell touted his record on taxes, the budget, Social Security, national security and the environment. Mitchell defeated Jackson in a landslide, the 33 point margin of victory assured after Ms. Jackson made some unflattering, if not humorous remarks about the unmarried Senator's wife.

Matt Mitchell Day

Matt was the first Senator of USG Reset 6 to have a day named in his memory by a regional government. In 2012, the Dixie Legislature, with the support of Governor Halfhyde, named May 20th Senator Matt Mitchell Day in Florida.

Personal Life

The 44-year-old Senator never married, and had not been in a relationship since 2003, when he parted ways with girlfriend Felicity Carmichael, a fellow political science professor at New College of Florida. It is rumored that the Senator had an ongoing affair with President Elizabeth Warren from 2009 until his death in 2013, however it was never confirmed.


  • B.A. Political Science, University of Florida, 1990
  • M.A. Political Science, Vanderbilt University, 1992
  • Ph.D Political Science, Vanderbilt University, 1993


  • Teaching Assistant, Vanderbilt University, 1991-1993
  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, New College of Florida, 1993-1998
  • Tenured Professor of Political Science, New College of Florida, 1998-2004

Political Experience

  • Senior Senator of Florida, United States Senate, 2005-2013
  • Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2007-2013
  • Senior Senator of the United States, 2008-2013


  • Fundraising - 2
  • Integrity - 1
  • Bulldog - 1
  • Organization - 1
  • Charisma - 1
  • Attractiveness - 1
  • Moderate - 1
  • Persuasiveness - 1
Preceded by
Mel Martinez
Florida Senator
Succeeded by
Constantine Gurlakis
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