WISCONSIN — Dane County Circuit Judge Everett Mitchell announced Wednesday that he will run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court next year to fill a seat currently held by the conservative former chief justice.
The April election will determine the ideological balance of the court. Retiring Justice Patience Roggensack, who turns 82 in July, is not seeking a third 10-year term. She is part of the four-justice conservative majority on the seven-member court.
Mitchell, who is Black, said the Wisconsin Supreme Court must reflect “the growing diversity of ideas and communities within our state" and be "an instrument of balance and justice rather than partisan divide.”
Mitchell is a former prosecutor who serves as the presiding judge of Dane County’s juvenile division. He also presides over the county’s drug court program.
Mitchell said he was the first in his family to attend college and was homeless as a single father after being accepted into the University of Wisconsin Law School. He also has masters in divinity and theology and works as senior pastor at Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison.
Mitchell becomes the second judge to announce they are running for the open seat. Last week, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz said she was running against “radical right-wing extremists” who are attacking “our most closely-held constitutional rights.”
Numerous others are mulling whether to run, including former conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly.