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Wisconsin State Journal (copy)

Three candidates are running for state treasurer to replace Matt Adamczyk, who is running for the Assembly.

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Sarah Godlewski

Godlewski

Sarah Godlewski

Age: 36

Party: Democratic

Address: 117 S. Hamilton St., Madison

Family: Married

Job: Small business owner

Prior elected office: None

Other public service: Civil service

Education: Bachelor’s degree in peace and conflict resolution, George Mason University; certificate in public treasury management, National Institute of Public Finance and Pepperdine School of Management; national security fellow, Air War College

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Travis Hartwig

Hartwig

Travis Hartwig

Age: 25

Party: Republican

Address: 205 W. Aspen Ct., Oak Creek

Family: No information provided

Job: Former mutual fund administrator, U.S. Bank

Prior elected office: None

Other public service: Walworth County Young Republicans, volunteer with Boy Scouts, volunteer with Milwaukee County Parks, volunteer with Waukesha Women’s Center

Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance and business economics, Carroll University

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Andrew Zuelke

Zuelke

Andrew Zuelke

Age: 49

Party: Constitution

Address: 578 Eureka St., Ripon

Family: Single

Job: Alliance Laundry Systems

Prior elected office: None

Other public service: Ripon Board of Zoning Appeals; Ripon Cable TV Advisory Committee; president, Messiah Lutheran Church in Ripon

Education: Westfield High School graduate

Q&A

Why are you a better candidate than your opponents?

Godlewski: I led the coalition to save this office, preserving a critical check on our government, while my opponent openly voted to abolish it. From co-founding a socially responsible investment firm to saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars while working at the Department of Defense, I have the public- and private-sector experience to serve as an effective state treasurer.

Hartwig: I have a true passion for all things Wisconsin and a background in finance. My opponent just sold her Washington, D.C., home in December. She spent her entire career in either government or political consulting. My career and life have always been right here, working in finance in my home state of Wisconsin.

Zuelke: As Constitution Party of Wisconsin state chairman, I have executive experience. Democrats and Republicans already have every other elected office in Madison. Having an alternative party member in this office will give voters a fresh, independent voice. I ran for this office in 2014 on a platform of saving and strengthening it. My Republican opponent said he voted last April to eliminate the office and my Democrat opponent will use this office to promote a progressive spending agenda.

Name three duties the treasurer’s office should acquire, now that voters have decided to keep the position.

Godlewski: As an independently elected office, the state treasurer is empowered by the people to stand up for Wisconsinites. The office doesn’t need to acquire new powers to serve as a fiscal watchdog, or to hold politicians and big banks accountable. In Wisconsin, we are lagging behind while state treasurers across the country are helping to build economies that work for everyone.

Hartwig: Now we need a trusted state treasurer with a clear vision for the office going forward. I have a three-part plan for how we can re-create the position for the 21st century. No. 1, assist in audits of state and local government. No. 2, cut bureaucracy. No. 3, protect the taxpayer.

Zuelke: Besides having the unclaimed property and the other duties restored, I believe the rainy day fund and the Department of Financial Institutions should be overseen by an elected officer, not two unelected bureaucrats. The treasurer has a role to play in being a fiscal watchdog, to conduct audits. We should end the progressive income tax. If elected, I will develop a new, simpler tax code to propose to the Legislature and the taxpayers.

Do you agree or disagree with the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands decision in 2015 to ban discussion of climate change?

Godlewski: It’s critical that the treasurer continues to be an effective steward of the 77,000 acres of school trust lands, including understanding the impact of climate change. Because investing in our environment is critical to Wisconsin’s future, as treasurer, I would encourage public financing for environmentally sound projects like renewable energy or lead abatement.

Hartwig: I do not see any beneficial reason to ban discussion or conversations. We should be able to converse about subjects, even if we may disagree on the topic.

Zuelke: I agree with the discussion ban. The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands is not the appropriate place for issues like this. If anything, that is something for our elected state assemblymen and state senators to debate and legislate on if they wish. Using the BCPL to push a political agenda, from the left or the right of the political arena, is wrong.

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