Wisconsin will continue to employ a state treasurer after voters rejected a call to eliminate the position Tuesday.
Republicans said the position is unnecessary, but backers argued it is an important check on other elected officials.
Referendum to eliminate of the office of state treasurer resultsAll precincts reporting
The vote Tuesday came after a bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed to ask Wisconsin voters to amend the constitution to eliminate the position.
Even current treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican, campaigned to eliminate the job.
Yet, Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly chose to retain the job. Adamczyk was not planning to seek re-election. A new treasurer will be elected in November.
"This settles the question of whether or not to eliminate the state treasurer’s office," Adamczyk said. "I have always said it was up to the voters and I accept the will of the people, even though I supported the elimination effort.
"I ran because I saw a do-nothing job that was a drain on the taxpayers. Since the office had no real duties, I made cuts to protect the taxpayers. However, it will be up to future legislators to figure out what the state treasurer should do."
The position dates back to Wisconsin's territorial days 180 years ago. It was written into the constitution upon statehood in 1848. But lawmakers have for decades discussed whether to do away with it.
In recent years Republican lawmakers have removed many of the duties from the treasurer's office, including management of the EdVest college savings program.
The office's budget has shrunk from $4.4 million and 23 1/2 staff in 1995 to $227,000 and one staff member in the current two-year budget, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
The treasurer's most significant remaining duty is to be a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, a little-known entity that manages trust funds built through fees, fines and land sales.