Election News – May 23rd, 2014

Transportation Referendum on November Ballot

The Legislature has successfully adopted the same proposed constitutional amendment in each of the last two sessions, to make it illegal for the government to raid segregated funds for transportation to fill holes in the state budget. This qualifies the question for a deciding vote by electors in the upcoming November 2014 general election.

The ballot question reads: “Creation of a Transportation Fund. Shall section 9 (2) of article IV and section 11 of article VIII of the constitution be created to require that revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund?”

There is no organized opposition to the referendum, however 8 senators and 13 representatives voted against the amendment. Some oppose the creation of the transportation fund because it ties the hands of the government to use the segregated transportation revenue as they need for other government programs and department funds.

Vote Yes for Transportation is an organized coalition of businesses, labor organizations, and trade groups that are in favor of the voting yes on the referendum. The organization explained their support to for the referendum by speaking with voters, which can be seen in the video below.

Feldt leaves State Treasurer’s race

After receiving nearly half of the needed votes at the State Republican Convention, Scott Feldt dropped out of the race for State Treasurer. The race for state treasurer is open, as current State Treasurer Kurt Schuller announced he would not seek reelection this fall. Feldt, who currently serves as deputy treasurer was endorsed by three former state treasurers.

Feldt announced his reason for leaving the race was because he is not “the best messenger for the cause,” and fully endorses Randy Melchert, a Repubican, who announced his candidacy for State Treasurer earlier this week.

See the full list of candidates for State Treasurer and other constitutional offices at the Hamilton Consulting Elections Coverage web page.

Senator Kedzie announces retirement

In the most recent announcement of retirements, Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) announced his retirement after serving the 11th Senate District for 11 years. Senator Kedzie also held the 43rd Assembly seat from 1997 to 2003. In a press release, Kedzie stated his reasons for retirement are to spend more time with family and pursue other opportunities.

Shortly after Kedzie’s announcement, Representative Steve Nass announced he would run for the newly vacated 11th Senate District Seat. Nass (R-Whitewater), who previously represented the 33rd Assembly district, identified three core issues in his run for the state Senate, including tax relief, helping the private sector in creating family-sustaining employment, and re-energizing the state’s commitment to education. Senator Kedzie endorsed Representative Nass’ run for the Senate.

With these announcement, there are now 22 representatives and 7 senators not seeking reelection this fall. See the full list of retirements and candidates at Hamilton Consulting’s Election Coverage web page.

Candidates’ Nomination Papers Due June 2nd

The additions to the long list of retirements and legislators not seeking re-election will end soon, as candidates nomination papers are due to the Government Accountability Board by June 2nd, 2014. These documents will lock in who will be on the ballot come the primary and general election.

Statewide constitutional office candidates, such as governor and lieutenant governor, require 2,000 signatures. State Senate candidates must hand in at least 400 signatures, and candidates for the State Assembly must have 200 signatures.

See the up-to-date list of all state candidates at Hamilton Consulting’s Elections Coverage web page.

This post was submitted by Hamilton Consulting Intern, Rebecca Ballweg.