Mitchell, 52, is a former Democratic state delegate who retains friendships and professional relationships with his former colleagues — which he said he will rely on in his new position.
“My job is to be the face of the governor as we go through the session,” Mitchell said in an interview.
Mitchell also is a former member of the Baltimore City Council and former mayoral candidate, and he’s part of the famous Mitchell family of Baltimore that has been deeply involved in politics and civil rights for generations. His grandfather, Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. was an NAACP lobbyist and adviser to Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. His grandmother, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, was the first African American woman to practice law in Maryland.
“Our job is to carry out the governor’s legislative agenda and enhance the governor’s call to reach across the aisle,” he said.
Democratic lawmakers have complained at times that the governor and his cabinet secretaries have not been as involved in the legislative process as they would like. Hogan has never appeared before a General Assembly committee to promote one of his bills. And cabinet secretaries often submit “letters of information” about bills, rather than position statements on whether they support or oppose the legislation.
Mitchell said the governor is “engaged” in the legislative process and cabinet heads are always available to answer lawmakers’ questions.
“They have opportunities to talk to and meet with cabinet secretaries,” he said.