A 15-year veteran of the Madison Fire Department, Mitchell lives in Fitchburg.
"I’m running because Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch have destroyed and divided Wisconsin by catering to corporate special interests instead of the workingmen and women of this state," Mitchell said on his website. "Now, we need to bring our state back together and work to create the jobs tens of thousands of Wisconsinites need."
Last year, when Gov. Scott Walker proposed a law that stripped most public employees of their ability to collectively bargain, Mahlon led firefighters through the streets of Madison to protest the legislation — even though his members are exempt from it.
“I have been a firefighter for 15 years," Mitchell said. "When firefighters see an emergency we respond. We respond because we care about our community. It’s a level of service and a calling that only a few decide to take. I look at being lieutenant governor as another part of this service.
"As firefighters, we have a motto – all hands working," he added. "Every firefighter on scene is doing a task or job to stabilize the tragedy. We need all hands working now in our community to deal with the emergency in Madison.
“Our state has a motto. It’s not ‘Divided.’ It’s not ‘Angry.’ It’s not ‘Afraid.’ It’s ‘Forward.’ And it’s time for leaders in Madison to act like it.”
Ben Sparks, communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, released the following statement:
We're not surprised that yet another hand-picked union candidate has announced his intention to run for office in this baseless recall effort. Yet, we're confused as to how Mahlon Mitchell will make the case for his candidacy, given that he wrote a letter applauding Governor Walker for his budget reforms, and pledged his commitment to work with Governor Walker to solve the economic problems Wisconsin was facing. Given today's announcement, Mitchell's words were obviously empty rhetoric from a hand-picked union candidate whose only objective is to score political points at the expense of moving Wisconsin backward.
In a conference call with the press, Mitchell said he would work to unite state legislators to promote the greater good. He added that he isn't anti-business, but that a course correction was needed because of what Mitchell calls Walker's "draconian measures."
"You unite people by letting people have a seat at the table," Mitchell said. "This starts at the top. When we win – I will bring together all of the state legislators to talk about the issues. Let’s change course of the way things are being done, but it starts with the Governor demonstrating true leadership."
Mitchell doesn't shy away from being "a proud union member," but his candidacy isn't just about restoring collective bargaining for public employees, he said.
"I'm not anti-business, but we also need people to create jobs," he said.
The lieutenant governor election would be held separately from the gubernatorial recall race. According to FOX6 News, Ira Robins, a Milwaukee private investigator, is also running for the Democratic Party's nomination.
Once the state Government Accountability Board announces that enough signatures have been collected to trigger a recall, a primary election will be held May 8 and an election will be held June 5.