Janesville55.6°

Cheers, concern greet recall candidate in visit with local Dems

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
May 17, 2012
— Lieutenant governor candidate Mahlon Mitchell inspired rousing cheers from about 40 supporters when he visited the Democrats' campaign office in Janesville on Wednesday.

He also heard concern about whether he and Tom Barrett have the resources to defeat a sitting governor and lieutenant governor in the June 5 recall elections.


Susan Hunt-Wulkowicz spoke for her mother, Jan Hunt, who accompanied her to the meet-and-greet.


Hunt-Wulkowicz said her mother wanted to know if the Democratic National Committee would come through with funding.


Gov. Scott Walker's campaign has out-raised the Barrett forces 25 to 1, and the national Republican Party has vowed to back Walker. But funding from the DNC remains in doubt, according to reporting on the Politico website.


Mitchell hugged Jan, apparently moved by the fact that she will soon be 93, and then said the Democratic Governors Association has donated to the recall effort.


As for a DNC contribution, "I think it'll be forthcoming," he said.


"It'd better be fast," Hunt-Wulkowicz replied, referring to the fact that TV commercials for Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefish are everywhere with less than three weeks to go.


A man in the crowd also seemed worried, asking where the enthusiasm has gone since the demonstrations and recall petition drive.


Mitchell said demonstrations are exciting, and now the movement is in a different phase in which people should knock on doors, make phone calls and talk to neighbors.


Asked about this in an interview, Mitchell said he would tell supporters: "Get out there. This affects everybody. The future of our state is at stake. In all honesty, no matter what side you're on, people should make their voices heard. …


"I think this will be a telltale sign as to where people want to see our state and what direction they want to go in."


Mitchell grew up in Delavan and graduated from Delavan-Darien High School, as did Walker.


"We obviously took some different classes," he joked.


Mitchell said opponents try to portray him as a Dane County liberal, but he said he's from Walworth County.


"Small-town values—Gov. Walker talks about that all the time—so I have the same," he said.


Mitchell was scheduled later Wednesday to greet supporters in Elkhorn and then attend a fundraiser in Delavan put on by local teachers.



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