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Wisconsin Secretary of State election, 2014

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Wisconsin Secretary of State Election

Primary Date
August 12, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Douglas LaFollette Democratic Party
Doug LaFollette.jpg

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The Wisconsin Secretary of State election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Douglas La Follette (D) was first elected in 1982 and is seeking re-election in 2014.

Wisconsin is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[1][2][3]

La Follette faces three challengers in the general election including Republican candidate Julian Bradley, Constitution Party candidate Jerry Broitzman and Libertarian Party candidate Andy Craig. Learn more about the positions taken by candidates for this office by jumping to the campaign themes section. This page also features a polls section with results from a handful of polls taken in this race along with a past elections section that features vote totals from the three previous races for Wisconsin Secretary of State.

Candidates

General election

Democratic Party Doug La Follette - Incumbent[4]
Republican Party Julian Bradley[5]
Constitution Party Jerry Broitzman - Constitution Party candidate[5]
Libertarian Party Andy Craig - Libertarian candidate[6]

Lost in primary

Republican Party Garey Bies[7]

Withdrew

Republican Party Jay Schroeder[8][9][5]
Republican Party Bill Folk[8][10][11]
Republican Party Rohn Bishop[12][7]

Results

Primary election

Democratic primary

Incumbent Democrat Doug La Follette won re-nomination without opposition.

Republican primary

Wisconsin Secretary of State Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJulian Bradley 64.8% 138,734
Garey Bies 35.2% 75,340
Total Votes 214,074
Election Results Via:Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Primary Election Results.


Race background

See also: Background on La Follette's time in office

Incumbent Democrat Doug La Follette faces Republican challenger Julian Bradley and two third-party candidates, Constitution Party candidate Jerry Broitzman and Libertarian Party candidate Andy Craig, in the general election for Wisconsin Secretary of State. La Follette has held this seat since 1983 and is running to extend his winning streak once again. During his time in office, the powers of the Secretary of State's office have been reduced by the Wisconsin Legislature.[13]

Both Republican primary candidates, Bradley and State Representative Garey Bies, argued that the office had become ceremonial and that the current state was unacceptable. While Bies wanted to eliminate the office and give its remaining powers to other agencies, Bradley's platform is to reform the office and regain its former powers.[13][14]

Bradley won the Republican nomination in the primary on August 12 by a large margin, though Republican primary voters do not necessarily prefer the office's reform to elimination, considering this issue's relative obscurity. Some of Bradley's support may have come from his emerging status as a candidate with future potential in the Republican Party, which was underlined in late August 2014 when the Republican State Leadership Committee named this race as "one of 14 races to watch" across the country.[15] La Follette was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Campaign themes

All four candidates for Wisconsin Secretary of State provided answers to a questionnaire published by the League of Women Voters of Dane County, Inc. Candidates were asked their priorities for the position and questions about the future of the office. The following sections provide the candidate responses to these questions verbatim:

Julian Bradley

1. Please describe your priorities for your term in office and your specific qualifications to effectively address those issues.

I have 3 major priorities for the office. I want to reform the office by running an active and transparent office. I want to restore not just responsibilities to the office, but faith in it as well. And I want to rebuild the bridges that have been burned to the other branches of state government.

I currently work in management for a Fortune 150 company where I have a staff that is larger than the staff in the Secretary of State's office. I know what it's going to take to turn this office around. It's going to take a clear vision by a proven leader. That's what I bring to the table.

2. There have been proposals to merge the functions of this office into other state agencies. If you believe this constitutional office is still relevant, explain why. If not, explain how the functions could most efficiently be taken over by other agencies.

I've maintained my position that the problem isn't the office, the problem is the current office holder. That's the only thing that needs to be removed. Our state's founders had a vision for our government that included a Secretary of State. There is so much potential for this office to play an integral role in state government, just as it does in Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and the majority of the country. As your next Secretary of State, I am up to the task of taking this office from being one with great potential, to being one with great value for the people of Wisconsin. [16]

—League of Women Voters of Dane County, Inc., [17]

Jerry Broitzman

1. Please describe your priorities for your term in office and your specific qualifications to effectively address those issues.

My first priority is to talk with the elected members of the Assembly and Senate to give my perspective on why the restoration of duties to the office would be a positive move. Given my experience as an elected representative, appointed official and years of private-sector business experience, I have the necessary political and diplomatic acumen to get things done. I am confident that enough members of both chambers would agree with my perspective and vote accordingly.

2. There have been proposals to merge the functions of this office into other state agencies. If you believe this constitutional office is still relevant, explain why. If not, explain how the functions could most efficiently be taken over by other agencies.

The duties of the office have been stripped away by the legislature over the years, but the duties have not gone away. Instead, they have been reassigned to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. I want to restore the legitimate duties to the office, as they were originally intended in the Wisconsin State Constitution. This would provide more checks and balances, which is badly needed in our state government. [16]

—League of Women Voters of Dane County, Inc., [17]

Andy Craig

1. Please describe your priorities for your term in office and your specific qualifications to effectively address those issues.

As Secretary of State, I will use the position to advocate overdue, nonpartisan constitutional reforms to state government, including abolishing marginalized, do-little offices like Secretary of State. I support nonpartisan redistricting, instant run-off voting, statewide initiative and referendum, increasing the size of the Assembly, and establishing an elected Commissioner of Lands and Resources. I would also be a consistent and outspoken voice for freedom, reason, and reform to the Legislature and Governor, which would not take place under either a Rep. or Dem. Secretary of State.

2. There have been proposals to merge the functions of this office into other state agencies. If you believe this constitutional office is still relevant, explain why. If not, explain how the functions could most efficiently be taken over by other agencies.

Wisconsin decided correctly that an elected official should not be in charge of elections, leaving the Sec'y with little to justify its existence. Thus I support the proposal to abolish the Secretary of State, as other states have already done. Instead of an obsolete relic of the 19th Century, I would advocate for establishing an elected Executive Council to check one-man rule. During my term, I would minimize costs through decentralization and automation, before transferring the small remainder to those agencies (LRB, GAB, DNR, and Att'y Gen.) which already handle similar responsibilities. [16]

—League of Women Voters of Dane County, Inc., [17]

Doug La Follette

1. Please describe your priorities for your term in office and your specific qualifications to effectively address those issues.

To continue to maintain the office and serve the people of Wisconsin. Be available to citizens who need assistance. And work to restore the important responsibilities to the office so Wisconsin will be like all other states and better able to compete.

2. There have been proposals to merge the functions of this office into other state agencies. If you believe this constitutional office is still relevant, explain why. If not, explain how the functions could most efficiently be taken over by other agencies.

It is not only relevant but for the future good of our State the important responsibilities that have been removed and are located in the offices of Secretaries of State in most all other states should be restored. This would allow Wisconsin to compete and make it easier for people to obtain the information they need. [16]

—League of Women Voters of Dane County, Inc., [17]

Polls

Wisconsin Secretary of State
Poll Doug LaFollette (D) Julian Bradley (R)Other/UnsureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Gravis Marketing
July 31-August 3, 2014
46%39%15%+/-31,346
Gravis Marketing
October 3-4, 2014
44%43%13%+/-3837
AVERAGES 45% 41% 14% +/-3 1,091.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


Past elections

2010

On November 2, 2010, Douglas La Follette won re-election to the office of Wisconsin Secretary of State. He defeated David D. King in the general election.

Wisconsin Secretary of State, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDouglas La Follette Incumbent 51.6% 1,074,118
     Republican David D. King 48.3% 1,005,217
     - Scattering 0.1% 1,863
Total Votes 2,081,198
Election Results Via: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

2006

Wisconsin Secretary of State, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDouglas La Follette Incumbent 57.1% 1,184,720
     Republican Sandy Sullivan 38.4% 796,686
     Green Michael LaForest 4.5% 92,587
     - Scattering 0.1% 1,412
Total Votes 2,075,405
Election Results Via: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

2002

On November 5, 2002, Douglas La Follette won re-election to the office of Wisconsin Secretary of State. He defeated Robert Gerald Lorge (R) and Edward J. Frami (C) in the general election.

Wisconsin Secretary of State, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDouglas La Follette Incumbent 56.6% 950,929
     Republican Robert Gerald Lorge 41.3% 693,476
     Constitution Edward J. Frami 2.1% 34,750
     - Scattering 0.1% 1,009
Total Votes 1,680,164
Election Results Via: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
June 2, 2014 Filing deadline
August 12, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
December 1, 2014 Certification of results

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Wisconsin + Secretary + elections"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Wisconsin Secretary of States Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References

  1. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  2. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  3. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  4. WBAY, "Republican Bishop announces Secretary of State run," May 14, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates Registered by Office," February 17, 2014
  6. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CERTIFICATE OF NOMINATION," accessed July 4, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Daily Cardinal, "Rep. Garey Bies runs for Secretary of State," March 25, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wisconsin Election Watch, "Secretary of State Candidate Backs Representative Schraa’s Plan to Eliminate the Office," January 21, 2014
  9. Wisconsin Election Watch, "Jay Schroeder to Run for Wisconsin Secretary of State," January 21, 2014
  10. The Journal Times, "Republican Party chairman running for Secretary of State," January 21, 2014
  11. Pioneer Press, "Wisconsin: Republican drops out of secretary of state race," May 29, 2014
  12. WisPolitics, "Bishop running for Secretary of State," May 4, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 THOnline, "Bradley wins GOP primary for Wisconsin secretary of state," August 12, 2014
  14. Julian Bradley for Secretary of State, "Platform," accessed September 12, 2014
  15. WKBT La Crosse, "Julian Bradley gains national attention running for secretary of state," August 28, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 League of Women Voters of Dane County, Inc., "Wisconsin Secretary of State," accessed October 14, 2014