State Senator Harry E. Mitchell has served in the State Senate for the last six years. First elected in 1998, the Senator will be term limited after the 2004 election, and therefore his last term in the Senate will end in 2006. He represents District 17, which consists of the majority of Tempe, and a section of southern Scottsdale.
Harry Mitchell has been a life-long resident of Arizona. Born in Phoenix, and raised in Tempe, Harry attended the Tempe High School, and Arizona State University. While at Arizona State University, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, several years later, Harry returned to the university and earned a Master’s of Public Administration.
After college, Harry started a teaching career at his alma mater, Tempe High, where he taught civics for 28 years. During Harry’s tenure at Tempe High, he also held the offices of City Council Member, and Mayor of Tempe. He served Tempe on the City Council for 8 years before being elected Mayor, a post he served at for 16 years. During his time as Mayor, Harry changed Tempe for the better. Under him, Tempe saw the revitalization of its downtown, the creation of a neighborhood program, and a renewed pride in being a Tempe resident.
In 1997, Harry decided that he wanted to represent Tempe on the state level. He ran for the State Senate and was successfully elected in 1998. During this time, he has sponsored numerous bills. Several of these noteworthy bills include: a bill to allow the state’s low-income healthcare system to treat women facing breast and cervical cancer, a bill to protect of our children from harmful drugs, and a bill to conform state law to federal law for the advancement of the rights of individuals with disabilities
Harry is married his high school sweetheart Marianne and had two children. His daughter, Amy, lives in Tempe with her husband Chris and three children. Mark, his son, also lives in Tempe with wife Debra and their two children, where he is also carrying on the tradition of public service by serving on the City Council as the Vice Mayor of the City of Tempe.
Senator Mitchell has received the following awards and honors: 2001 Legislator of the Year award from the American Cancer Society; 2001 Freedom of Information Award from the Arizona Newspapers Association; Valley Leaders Visionary Award-Valley Leadership; Public Service Superior Service Awards, Arizona Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration; Distinguished Achievement Award, ASU College of Public Programs; Alumni Association Hall of Fame, ASU College of Public Programs; ASU Alumni Service Award; Phi Delta Kappa-Education Honorary; Phi Alpha Alpha-Public Affairs and Administration Honorary; Tempe Jaycees, Distinguished Service Award,; Tempe Jaycees, Outstanding Educator; Tempe South Rotary Club, Howard Pyle Vocational Service Award; Tempe Elks Club, distinguished Citizenship Award; League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Life Member; Tempe Sister City, Ring of Honor; 2003 Legislator of the Year award from the Mental Health Association