George Mitchell was appointed to the United States Senate in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Senator Edmund Muskie, who resigned to become Secretary of State. He was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1982 in a stunning come-from-behind victory. Mitchell went on to an illustrious career in the Senate spanning 14 years.
In 1988, he was reelected with 81 percent of the vote, the largest margin in Maine history. He left the Senate in 1995 as the Senate Majority Leader; a position he had held since January 1989.