MADISON, Wis. — Democrat Mahlon Mitchell stopped just short of using a racial slur while joking with brewery owners on a tour as part of his run for governor.

Mitchell, who is black and leads the statewide firefighters union, made the comment while visiting Hop & Barrel Brewing Co. in Hudson earlier this month. The videotaped visit was posted to Mitchell's Facebook page.

Mitchell was chatting with owners Justin Terbeest and Brian Priefer when he asked if they had a competitor. Mitchell says, "You're the cumma sum laude, I'd say. You're the head ..." and then stopped himself halfway through using a racial slur.

He then laughed and wrapped up the video.

Mitchell's campaign declined to comment. He has drawn criticism for telling crude jokes at least twice during campaign appearances.