Breaking: Sen. Wendell Mitchell dies

Published 12:10 am Sunday, February 5, 2012

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former state Sen. “Walking” Wendell Mitchell, who served the 30th District for almost three decades, has died. He was 71.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Mitchell’s wife of 48 years, Rosalind, said he suffered from congestive heart failure and died about 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Luverne resident lost his seat in 2010 to Republican Bryan Taylor, an Iraq veteran and former aide to Gov. Bob Riley.

“Since I took office, Sen. Mitchell would check in on me from time to time, always with a kind word of encouragement or a friendly piece of advice,” Taylor said. “He did so because he was a gentleman, he loved the Alabama Senate, and he cared deeply for the people of District 30. I’ll never forget his gracious telephone call to me on election night to tell me how lucky I was to be able to represent such fine folks. Although we had our disagreements on the issues, Wendell served our district well in countless ways over his long and distinguished career in public service. On behalf of my family and all the people Wendell represented for so many years, our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his family in this difficult time.”

Mitchell earned his nickname “Walking” by walking from town to town during campaigns. He was a former professor and dean emeritus of Jones Law School at Faulkner University.