GOP Fields Candidates For Positions They’ve Sought To Eliminate

Delegates Endorse Julian Bradley For Secretary Of State, Matt Adamczyk For Treasurer

Julian Bradley, above, received the Republican Party's endorsement for secretary of state. Photo: Shawn Johnson/WPR.

Republicans are fielding several candidates this year for secretary of state and state treasurer, two offices they’ve tried unsuccessfully to eliminate.

Republicans, from Gov. Tommy Thompson to Gov. Scott Walker, have consistently downsized the secretary of state’s office, but two of the three GOP candidates running this year want to bring duties back.

At the Wisconsin Republican Convention over the weekend, 33-year-old Julian Bradley blamed longtime Democratic incumbent Doug Lafollette for letting the office grow irrelevant.

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“Under LaFollette’s absentee administration, duty after duty has been removed from the office,” said Bradley. “This year, it’s time we remove Doug LaFollette from the office.”

Bradley’s platform calls for restoring unspecified duties. Racine County Republican Party Chair Bill Folk is more specific, noting that if Republicans eliminate the Government Accountability Board, they’ll need someone else to run elections in Wisconsin.

“What do we do next?” said Bradley. “We need to instill it in someone. And let’s be honest, the State Elections Board was no fun the last time.”

Folk wants the secretary of state to take over, which would be a huge expansion of the office’s power.

Only state Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, promised to help eliminate the secretary of state’s office.

“I will and I can win, and be the first Republican in that office in the last 40 years, and hopefully your last,” said Bies.

Bies finished a distant third in voting at the convention, where delegates chose Bradley to be their nominee.

In the race for state treasurer, an office whose duties were gutted last year, delegates were split nearly 50-50. They narrowly backed Matt Adamczyk over Scott Feldt. Adamczyk wants to get rid of the treasurer’s office, while Feldt wants to keep it.