Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 326


Dan Gwadosky was born in Waterville, Maine in 1954 and grew up in Fairfield, Maine. Of polish ancestry, his father’s sister, Nellie, married Dick McMahon, one of Muskie earliest friends and political partners. Dan graduated from Thomas College with a B.S. degree in Management. Prior to being a candidate himself, he worked on five congressional campaigns, all losing. He was first elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1978, serving consecutive terms for 18 years. He left the legislature in 1996 due to term limits. He was elected Assistant Majority Floor Leader in 1986, House Majority Leader in 1988, and the 92nd Speaker of the House in 1994. At the time of the interview, he was on the Board of Trustees of Thomas College and in his third term as Maine’s 46th Secretary of State. In this position, he advocated for the increased use of technology in government services, especially using the Internet to serve the public need for information and services about government. He chaired the Information Resource of Maine (InforME) board, which oversees the new trend toward e-government. He has been involved in community athletics, coaching baseball, soccer and basketball. He held Muskie’s seat in the state legislature for many years, at his request.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Fairfield, Maine community: social, ethnic, religious, economic, political; McMahon, his uncle by marriage; the 1954 gubernatorial campaign; Gwadosky’s involvement in politics, including working on others campaigns and his 18 year tenure in the Maine legislature; recollections of the Muskie speech at the Waterville Armory in 1972 during the presidential campaign; Senator Muskie’s seat in the Maine House and Gwadosky’s story of how he came to have the same seat; John Martin and his significance to Democratic politics in Maine; term limits in Maine; the Secretary of State’s office and what its functions are; e-government development through online technology (InforME); Aroostook County Democrats and citizens, and specifically how they differ from other parts of the state in terms of needs; how the “Aroostook delegation” represents its people; and the Maine Commission on Legal Needs and Senator Muskie’s commitment to it.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.