Secretary of State Doug La Follette and primary challenger Marvina Martin bemoaned GOP-authored changes that have stripped the office of many responsibilities.

But they offered Dem activists slightly different solutions. La Follette urged the state convention to elect more Dem lawmakers to reverse the damage done, while Martin argued a change was needed in who’s leading the office.

La Follette said if a Dem is also elected state treasurer, they would campaign to restore duties to both those offices, and electing Dems to the Legislature would help restore Wisconsin’s progressive tradition. He also took a dig at Gov. Scott Walker, who he said was responsible for many of the changes, along with former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

“It is essential, it is essential that we send Scotty back to finish school and get his first private sector job he’s ever had,” La Follette said, referencing Walker’s failure to finish his degree at Marquette University.

Martin pledged to use the office to campaign for higher voter engagement, make it easier to register, expand the options for voter ID and simplify the registration system. She said the office has been losing influence and responsibility for more than 40 years, but a new secretary of state would change that.

La Follette was first elected to the office in 1974.

“As your secretary of state, I will fight every day to give people a voice,” she said.

This post is part of our coverage of the 2018 state Dem convention in Oshkosh. See the rest of our coverage here:

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