Former state Rep. Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee easily won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor Tuesday. He bested Kurt Kober, a strategist for The Clorox Co. With all precincts counted, Barnes received 75.9 percent of the vote.
Barnes will now face current Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in the general election on Nov. 6. Kleefisch was first elected in 2010 along with Gov. Scott Walker. She survived a recall in 2012 and was reelected in 2014. Kleefisch ran unopposed in the Republican primary Tuesday.
Barnes said there are four things that need to be done to give the people in Wisconsin more opportunities. It starts with new education policy, including free two-year college and debt-free four-year college.
He is calling for a Badgercare “public option” for everyone. Barnes wants to combat Walker’s environmental policies and invest in renewable energy. Finally, he advocates for raising the minimum wage.
One of the biggest priorities for Kleefisch is making Wisconsin job friendly. She has spent much of her two terms traveling across the state and country promoting Wisconsin as an ideal place to move or open a business.
Secretary of State
Current Secretary of State Doug La Follette won the Democratic primary with 60.8 percent of the vote. He defeated Madison Ald. Arvina Martin. La Follette will be challenged by Jay Schroeder, who won the Republican primary with 65.2 percent of the vote. He defeated Spencer Zimmerman.
La Follette has served as secretary of state for 35 years, and is seeking his eighth term. He has unsuccessfully opposed moves to transfer official office duties from his office. Schroeder served on the Menomonie City Council while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Schroeder said the office of secretary of state shouldn't be eliminated and one of his main goals would be to combat voter fraud. He also wants to move the office away from Madison and establish an eight-year term limit.
Travis Hartwig will move on to the general election in the race for state treasurer, after receiving 69.2 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. He defeated Jill Millies.
Hartwig will face Sarah Godlewski, who won the Democratic primary with 49 percent of the vote. She defeated Dawn Marie Sass and Cynthia Kaump.
The office of state treasurer was the subject of an April statewide referendum in which voters denied a referendum to eliminate the office. Hartwig described himself as a fiscal conservative and he voted to eliminate the office in April. He described the office as a part-time position with a full-time salary of $70,000. Hartwig said he is dedicated to making the office work for taxpayers again and would evaluate all of the office's duties to determine if the treasurer is best suited to handle them.
Godlewski was a supporter of keeping the office and said the office should be focused on being a fiscal watchdog of the state, being a fiscal advocate for its residents and investing in Wisconsin’s future.
“62 percent of people voted to keep the office. They want this office, and we have to make sure this office does it’s job,” Godlewski said.