AUGUSTA – Rep. Janet Mills of Farmington was nominated by House and Senate Democrats to be Maine’s next attorney general today. Mills is almost certain to be elected tomorrow because Democrats have a 96-54 majority.
The vote was not disclosed but John Brautigam of Falmouth was defeated on the first ballot and, in a runoff between Mills and Sean Faircloth of Bangor on a second ballot, Mills won easily. The full Legislature will vote Wednesday on the nomination.
Mills is virtually assured of succeeding Attorney General Steven Rowe, who had reached the job’s term limit and she will be the first woman to serve in the state’s top legal job.
“I’m very happy,” Mills said tonight. “It feels good and it’s the right change in my life right now,” she added.
After graduating from law school, Mills worked for four years as an assistant attorney general. In 1980, she was elected district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties. Since 1995, she has practiced law in the firm of Wright & Mills, P.A., with her brother Peter Mills, a state senator from Cornville. She served on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
Once elected to serve as Maine’s 55th attorney general tomorrow, a special election will need to be held in the towns of Farmington and Industry to fill the newly-vacated House District 89 seat after Mills easily won a fourth term.
In an interview this fall, Mills said serving as chief legal advisor to the state government, is one that requires a high level of legal skill and a complete command of public policy that is dictated by both the state’s Legislature and increasingly, by the federal government.
She now believes that it was her years of practicing law, both as a prosecutor and an attorney in private practice, that was the deciding factor in her successful bid for attorney general.
“It’s a big challenge,” Mills said of the AG’s job. “It’s a big office. Tremendous.”