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Republican Candidates For State Treasurer Offer Differing Visions For Office In Flux

One Candidate Seeks To Restore Office's Responsibilities

Photo: Matt Adamczyk's Campaign Facebook Page | Randy Melchert's Campaign Twitter Page 

Republican primary voters will have a clear choice in the race for state treasurer between one candidate who wants to eliminate the office and another who wants to keep it.

Republicans have been toying with the idea of getting rid of the Office of the Wisconsin State Treasurer for several years now, and GOP state lawmakers stripped the office of most of its duties last session. However, the Republican-controlled Legislature didn’t pass a proposed state constitutional amendment to get rid of the treasurer so it’s not going anywhere for the time being.

Matt Adamczyk, Republican candidate for treasurer, said that as long as the office still exists, he’d make it run as lean as possible. That includes getting rid of the treasurer’s employees.

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“Right now, the office costs us about a million dollars every two years, and I just don’t believe it’s worth the taxpayer money that we spent for it because there’s really no duties left in the treasurer’s office,” said Adamczyk, of Wauwatosa.

By contrast, Randall Melchert, of Menominee Falls, said calls to eliminate the treasurer’s office are just a “gimmick,” and said he’d seek to restore the office’s responsibilities.

“Deep down, I don’t believe many people wake up each morning wondering how are we going to get rid of the state treasurer’s office. Most people are looking for ways that we can be able to make Wisconsin government work better,” he said.

Melchert said government works better when it’s accountable to elected officials, and he points to the state’s unclaimed property program as an example. Lawmakers transferred the program from the treasurer to the state Department of Revenue last year, and since the change, the list of people waiting to get their property back from the state has multiplied six-fold.

Democrats Dave Leeper and David Sartori are also running for treasurer.