Nine days after Scott Walker’s term as Wisconsin governor began, Mahlon Mitchell became the youngest-ever and the first African-American head of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. The union president lives and works in Madison, heart of the protests that erupted over Governor Walker’s union-stripping bill shortly after both men took office.
Watching that speech (and several other public appearances), it may not be all that surprising to learn that Lieutenant Mitchell is thinking about a new career. In a new interview with Andy Kroll of Mother Jones, he says that he’s “seriously considering a run” for Governor Walker’s job if he ends up facing a recall election:
He said he believes Wisconsinites are sick of professional politicians not following through on campaign promises, and that a populist candidate running against Walker stands a better chance of unseating the governor. The ideal candidate would be “able to talk with common people about common issues,” Mitchell said. “Tell ‘em what you can do and what you can’t do.”
As Rachel noted last night, the Wisconsin press is already floating many names as potential opponents for Governor Walker. As for Lieutenant Mitchell, Graeme Zielinski, the spokesman for the state’s Democratic Party, praised him in the Mother Jones article for being “on the front lines in the fight against Walker… there from the get-go, standing with the people” – but wouldn’t offer thoughts on him as a candidate. An informal exploratory committee has been formed, but Lt. Mitchell made it clear that his mind isn’t made up:
“It’s a decision I’ll make very soon,” he said.