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16 now running in crowded Democratic gubernatorial race

Posted at 4:43 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-13 18:19:40-05

Another Democrat is officially running for the party's nomination for governor, Mahlon Mitchell who currently heads the state firefighters union just put his bid in.

He joins an exceptionally large field of 16 candidates running on the Democratic ticket, looking to unseat Gov. Scott Walker. Local experts say they've never seen anything like this.

The number could grow or it may get smaller. Charles Franklin, the director of the Marquette Law School Poll, said this race reminds him of the 2015 Republican Presidential primaries.

As the time ticks before the elections, Franklin said lots of questions remain on who is the top candidate.

"I think it's a moving target but it's certainly a larger number than normal," Franklin said. "The main question I have right now is whether we see a top tier of two three, four candidates emerge who are clearly getting the lion share of the vote or whether we see that distributed across 5 or 6 candidates."

Right now Franklin said about 10 of the candidates are active. Even though the deadline to officially sign up is in June of next year, Franklin said most likely the practical deadline will be here in the next few months.

He said serious candidates are currently focusing on gearing up their staff and fundraising.

"I actually think ironically it makes it more likely that a top tier will emerge just because everybody is struggling to get attention," Franklin said. "A top tier of two or three might emerge as clearly dominate."

The Democratic primary will be next August. The election for governor will be in November.