Republicans criticize Mitchell over Act 10

Republicans criticize Mitchell over Act 10
State Capitol

The Wisconsin Republican Party is criticizing the latest Democratic candidate to get into the governor’s race over his opposition to the Act 10 collective bargaining law.

Wisconsin firefighters union leader Mahlon Mitchell launched his candidacy on Monday. He is vying to become the state’s first African American governor.

Mitchell was outspoken against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal in 2011 that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. It did not apply to police and firefighters.

Mitchell also ran for lieutenant governor in the 2012 recall but was defeated.

Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman says Mitchell went to “extreme lengths to protect big government special interests during the recall” and now he’s “doubling down on the failed policies of yesterday.”

Mitchell is joining a crowded Democratic field of candidates. Fifteen other Democratic candidates are registered with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Marquette Law School Professor Charles Franklin said it’s too early to tell if there’s a clear frontrunner in the race.

“Now what may happen instead… is a top tier of two or three or four candidates emerge, and even if others are still in the race, they don’t play a large role,” Franklin said.

As to whether this broadening field of candidates will prove helpful to the Democratic Party, Franklin said there are good and bad aspects.

“The thing about contested primaries is parties usually hate them because you don’t want to waste resources and fight among yourselves,” Franklin said.

LIST: Democratic candidates running for Wisconsin governor against Walker

Wisconsin firefighters union head running for governor

The head of the Wisconsin state firefighters union is running for governor as a Democrat, joining a crowded field hoping for the chance to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Mahlon Mitchell was launching his campaign Monday with stops in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison. This is Mitchell’s first campaign since he ran for lieutenant governor in the 2012 recall against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Mitchell said Monday he is running for governor “because after eight years of Scott Walker, it’s time for change.”

The 40-year-old Mitchell grew up in Delavan, where the 50-year-old Walker was also raised. Mitchell lives in Fitchburg and is president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. He is a former Madison firefighter.

The Democratic primary is Aug. 14 and the election is Nov. 6.