Mitchell seeks seventh term

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 26, 2006

In the early 70s, Sen. Wendell Mitchell decided to take a little walk and 123 miles later he had a new nickname, courtesy of a Pike County newspaper.

He laughed as he recalled a photograph of himself, snapped while he was sitting on a curb with his feet in a bucket of Epson salt. Mitchell said it took him 13 days to walk the distance from Dothan to Montgomery.

A photographer from the Troy Messenger took his picture somewhere between Troy and Brundidge, he said.

&#8220Walkin” Wendell Mitchell was born the next day.

&#8220I look back now and say, ‘why in the world would I do something like that,'” Mitchell said. &#8220But I was young, didn't have much money and hardly any backing. So I did it in order to get some recognition. I walked the whole way.”

Along his route, Mitchell stopped and talked with people. He introduced himself to civic organizations and by the time he reached Montgomery, he had made a name for himself.

Mitchell was elected to serve the 30th Senatorial District in 1974, and he's presently serving his sixth term in the senate. This week, he announced his intentions to seek a seventh term and hopes to again represent the people of Autauga, Butler, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, and Pike counties.

&#8220I feel strongly that my experience puts me in a position to meet the requests and demands of this office,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell said, through the years, he's seen more people becoming more involved in state government, especially with the convenience of today's technology. More citizens, he said, have taken to the Internet and e-mail allows people easy access to government officials on a daily basis. Because of that, he said, the job has become more demanding.

He said he wouldn't have it any other way.

&#8220I feel strongly that my experience puts me in a position to meet the requests and demands of this office,” said Mitchell.

The issues have become complicated as well, he said.

&#8220We have had lots of complicated legislation that requires a lot more teaching,” he said. &#8220One of the things that happens now is that people are asking for more public hearings on these issues than in the past. And the more complicated the issue, the more people involved.”

Mitchell said he feels the office of a state senator belongs to the people he represents. He said the support he's received from individuals, groups and communities throughout the six counties he serves, has been tremendous.

He didn't say if this would be his last term in office, if elected.

&#8220There comes a time where everyone wants to spend more time with family,” he said. &#8220But I never say never.”

Mitchell, from Luverne, is married to Rosalind McBride Mitchell from Greenville and they have three adult children and five grandchildren.