Mills ’96 Running for Public Office – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Mills ’96 Running for Public Office

With more than a decade of experience working in politics, Michael Mills ’96 recently announced that he is running for Secretary of State of Georgia in 2010. Should he win, he will join the ranks of HWS alumni and alumnae who have dedicated their lives to public service as an elected official. Mills, running as a Democrat, is stressing that as Secretary of State, he would institute “a new way to govern.”

“[‘A new way to govern’] isn’t just a campaign slogan,” he explains on his campaign web site. “It’s a vision for inspiring and empowering people to participate in our government and creating a government that works for people.”  His goals include ensuring the security of Georgia’s election system, growing jobs and revenue by creating a business resource center for small companies, non-profits and entrepreneurs, and protecting citizens against financial ruin and fraud.

An award-winning public relations/public affairs professional, Mills has worked at Atlanta-based Hayslett Sorell and communications21, where he represented organizations in the court of public opinion and in the halls of government and where his work shaped health care, environmental and transportation legislation. Mills has also served as an aide to former Secretary of State Lewis Massey, and as campaign press secretary for former Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor. His book, “Battling Democracy’s Decline,” was released last August and summarizes his efforts in support of Wal-Mart’s “Save Money, Live Better” policy.  

In recent years, Mills launched a full-service communications agency, PR1776, based upon more than 10 years of experience in the industry. He is currently involved with numerous non-profit and community groups, including Vote for America-Georgia, which has registered thousands of voters, mobilized volunteers and helped raise 2002 voter turnout by more than 7 percent.

For his outstanding work, Mills was selected to Georgia Trend Magazine’s list of “40 Under 40,” was a Leadership Buckhead graduate, and was named Georgia State University’s Communications Department “Alumni of the Year” for his work with Coalition for a Voting America and Vote for America-Georgia.

Mills majored in political science at Hobart, was a member of Delta Chi and the ice hockey team, was involved in Student Court, and received the Joseph Abraham Memorial Training Award in 1997. After graduating from Hobart, he earned a master’s degree in Communications from Georgia State University, where his thesis included a plan for increasing youth voter turnout.