Jul 11, 6:26 PM EDT

The president of the Professional Fire Fighters Association of Wisconsin says he is considering running for governor as a Democrat.

AP Photo
AP Photo/Scott Bauer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Latest on Democrat Andy Gronik's entrance into Wisconsin governor's race (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

The president of the Professional Fire Fighters Association of Wisconsin says he is considering running for governor as a Democrat.

Mahlon Mitchell said Tuesday that he is still mulling a run, even though Democratic Party officials said in June he had ruled it out. Mitchell is chalking that up to a misunderstanding.

Mitchell made his intentions clear on the same day that Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik officially got in the race. He is the most prominent Democrat to run.

Mitchell ran for lieutenant governor in the 2012 recall against Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and lost.

There are about 10 other Democrats considering running in the election next year. Walker is expected to officially launch his bid later this summer.

---

9 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is branding a new Democratic challenger as "out-of-touch" and other potential candidates for governor as "extreme."

Walker sent a fundraising email Tuesday shortly after Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik officially launched his candidacy for governor. Walker calls Gronik "another far-left and out-of-touch candidate."

He also mentions that Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, who is considering getting in the race, gave the key to the city to Fidel Castro. Walker asks his supporters to "show your love for American democracy" and donate $25 or more to his campaign.

Walker has raised $3.5 million through the first six months of the year and has $2.4 million cash on hand.

---

8:30 a.m.

The most prominent Democrat yet to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker has officially launched his campaign.

Milwaukee businessman and entrepreneur Andy Gronik on Tuesday announced he would seek the Democratic nomination next year. It could be a crowded primary, with about 10 others considering getting in.

Gronik is a political newcomer who tells The Associated Press he is a "progressive businessperson." He wants to restore collective bargaining rights lost to workers under Walker and supports a living wage.

Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman calls Gronik an "out-of-touch con artist" who is proposing "far-left fantasies."

Walker's campaign released a memo hours after Gronik's announcement showing that Walker has $2.4 million cash on hand for his re-election bid. That's more than he had at this point in 2013.

---

8:20 a.m.

A Wisconsin Republican Party complaint alleging illegal behavior by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik has been dismissed.

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission dismissed the complaint as without merit on June 9. Gronik provided The Associated Press an email from the commission on Monday telling him of the decision. Gronik launched his run for governor on Tuesday.

The Wisconsin Republican Party had filed a complaint alleging Gronik violated the law by paying for a poll earlier this year prior to registering a candidate committee. Gronik said there was no violation because he wasn't a candidate yet when the poll was done.

After reviewing the materials presented, the commission said there was "no reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law occurred."

Republicans have derided him for it because the pollster referred to "Wisconsinians" rather than "Wisconsinites."

---

12:11 a.m.

Milwaukee businessman and entrepreneur Andy Gronik tells The Associated Press he will launch his run for governor as a Democrat on Tuesday.

The 60-year-old Gronik is a political newcomer who says his decades in the private sector are in sharp contrast with Republican Gov. Scott Walker's long career in public office.

Gronik says he will fight to restore collective bargaining rights to public workers lost under Walker. He also vowed to reinstitute the nonpartisan elections board Walker dissolved, stop further expansion of the private school voucher program and accept federal money Walker rejected to help pay for health insurance for more poor people.

He calls himself a "progressive businessperson."

Gronik is the most prominent Democrat to enter the race among about a dozen who are considering a run.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.