Senate staffers are mourning the loss of longtime Democratic staffer Tim Mitchell, who passed away Saturday night after a battle with brain cancer.
“My dear friend Tim Mitchell was an institution,” former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote in a Facebook post. “He helped make the Senate function appropriately, and he was integral in helping us pass many pieces of legislation. He was fair and was never pushed around. I will always remember all the good he did for me and the country.”
Mitchell was honored for his 25 years of service in the Senate in September, when top Senate leaders praised his expertise and dedication to both the Senate and the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
“We are all pretty good at what we do, but we would be lost without the Tim Mitchells and Gary Myricks of the world,” Reid said, referring also to the floor secretary. “We would be stumbling around here. We depend on them so very much.”
Mitchell started his Senate career as an intern for Michigan Democrat Don Riegle, according to Reid’s September tribute. Mitchell worked for Riegle after graduating from college and worked for the Senate Banking Committee. He joined the Democratic floor staff in 2001 and was promoted to assistant Democratic secretary in 2008 when Democrats retook the Senate.
Reid and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both avid baseball fans, also noted Mitchell’s love for the Red Sox and the game itself. Reid said Mitchell had more than 100 ties with a baseball on them. Mitchell also owned two seats from the historic Fenway Park, and would watch Red Sox games from those seats in his basement.
When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013, Reid attempted to add Mitchell’s name to the resolution congratulating the team, but it was not in order to do so. Reid said he “had never known a more rabid fan of a baseball team than Tim Mitchell.”
Reid noted in his September tribute that Mitchell’s “role in life” was to be a good father to his young son, Ben, and a good husband to his wife, Alicia. Both were on the Senate floor for the tributes to Mitchell that morning.
“Thank you for sharing Tim with us all of these years,” Reid told them.