Candidates for Treasurer

Aaron Richardson

1.

Q: What motivated you to run for this office, and why did you decide to run at this point in time?

A: I was looking for a way to increase my involvement in the community and go from making a difference locally to making a difference statewide. This is an incredibly important position and we need to ensure we elect another Democrat this fall. When Treasurer Godlewski decided to run for Senate I decided to run. She has done a great job and I want to continue the work she has done. 

I think I am the most qualified person in the state for this role. I also have a proven track record of getting things done, not just talking about things I want to do. The time is right for me personally and professionally and I can't wait to represent this great state as the next Treasurer.

2.

Q: What relevant experience do you have for this position?

A: I have a lot of relevant experience. I have been the Mayor of Fitchburg for over three years. I am responsible for a $25 million operating budget and $100 capitol budget. I have accomplished a number of things in my budget, for the environment, for diversity and more in this role. I also work for the Oregon School District and one of the most important things the Treasurer does is distribute money to school district libraries throughout the state. I also have the education needed for this role with a Bachelor's degree in Business from UW-Green Bay and an MBA from UW-Whitewater. I also spent over 16 years in the business world for a variety of companies including credit unions and insurance companies. I am the only person in this race from either party that has a lot of relevant experience for this position.

3.

Q: Are there more steps, besides those that Governor Evers has already taken, that the state can do to help people who are really struggling with the economic impact of inflation, gas prices, and fall out from the pandemic?

A: If Governor Evers wasn't handcuffed by the GOP controlled legislature he could do a lot more for those struggling in our communities. Providing a stimulus check would be one option to consider for those making under a designated household income. Finding a way to subsidize child care for those with lower incomes would be another way to not only directly help those struggling but also make a huge impact in the health of their kids.

4.

Q: What concerns you most about the recent attacks on voting rights and election administrators?

A: Everything scares me about the recent attacks on democracy. The attacks on voting rights and election administrators are really attacks on democracy. The biggest concern I have is what the majority of people in the state want is not happening. A small group of GOP legislators are making decisions for people throughout the state. What the majority of people want and need they are not getting from people elected to represent them. It scares me most that Democrats won't win statewide races like Governor, Senator, and Treasurer and Wisconsin will no longer be a democracy.

5.

Q: Wisconsinites pay more for healthcare than many other states, due in large part to healthcare monopolies. How would you propose that we lower these costs?

A: One thing I am in favor of is limiting how much can be charged for life saving medications like insulin. It is criminal how much those with diabetes have to pay for insulin, which is critical for their health. Limiting how much can be charged for these essential medications would be one way I would lower healthcare costs for Wisconsin residents.

6.

Q: The state treasurer helps provide funding for school libraries. What would your response be to school boards banning books?

A: I am not in favor of school boards banning books. I would like to reduce the funds the school district gets if they ban books. The one thing that concerns me with this strategy is ultimately the ones who get hurt by this strategy are the kids. I would include with the funds for school libraries a set of books about diversity and for diverse audiences to ensure the libraries are providing important books for their students. I would consider limiting the amount of funds a school can get if they ban books but monitor how that is impacting the kids and also evaluate if that strategy is preventing some districts from banning books. This could also be presented as everyone gets this baseline for their libraries and if you don't ban books then you are eligible for a "bonus" additional payment. This would then look more like a reward for allowing diverse thinking in your community.

7.

Q: What is the most important function of this office? What would you add to this work? Is there something this office could be doing that it isn’t?

A: I think distributing money to school district libraries throughout the state is the most important job this office currently does. I think providing high quality books that highlight diverse topics and diverse authors would be another way to enhance this program.

 

There are two things I would do in this office. First, is providing financial literacy education and materials to people of all ages throughout the state. Financial literacy is so important and this office should be helping that education. Second, I would promote programs that increase home ownership. One option is the rent to own program Fitchburg is piloting right now. These programs can make it easier for people from any walk of life to enter home ownership. Home ownership is when you can really start changing lives and families can start generating generational wealth.

8.

Q: If you do not win the primary election, will you support the candidate who does?

A: Of course. There is no way in hell we can let a Republican win any race in Wisconsin.

angelito Tenorio

1.

Q: What motivated you to run for this office, and why did you decide to run at this point in time?

A: I’m running for State Treasurer to make Wisconsin the best it can be for everyone. I will continue to build on Sarah Godlewski’s legacy of using the Treasurer’s office to its full potential. I will be a strong, independent fiscal watchdog to hold our leaders accountable for their fiscal priorities and actions. I’m not afraid to call out other leaders on their backwards economic policies. 

I’ll also fully utilize the bully pulpit that comes with being a statewide elected official by being a vocal champion for working families in Wisconsin and advocating for the economic policies that will empower the working class and help all Wisconsinites thrive. I will always fight for working people, and I will fight for labor unions. Finally, I’ll utilize the public funds that the office manages to prioritize sustainable investments in our local communities, upgrading schools and libraries with green technology and focus on rebuilding our state’s crumbling infrastructure.

2.

Q: What relevant experience do you have for this position?

A: Mom and Dad immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in hopes of finding a better life. My parents believed in the American Dream and they instilled in me the values of hard work, giving back to the community and service to others. My experience as the son of immigrants in Wisconsin has shaped every part of who I am and this has given me a unique perspective that I believe is sorely lacking in government currently. 


While at UW-Madison, The sense of duty that my parents instilled in me led me to enlist in the Wisconsin National Guard, to serve our state and country. Additionally, I have over five years of experience in political and nonprofit finance, building progressive power, and until last month I worked in nonprofit development for an environmental group called Wisconsin Conservation Voters. I joined WCV  because I believe climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. 
 
In addition, as an Alderman in my hometown, West Allis, I serve on the powerful finance committee and manage a municipal budget of more than $130 million, which has given me invaluable knowledge of government financial systems. Additionally, I’ve been a progressive champion leading the efforts combating climate change, supporting affordable housing initiatives, and advocating for racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights. I’ve been on the frontlines of fighting to make our community the best it can be.
 
With my experiences as a veteran, a political and nonprofit finance expert, knowledge gained from managing a budget of over $130 million, and with my record as a progressive champion, I have what it takes to be a treasurer that can help us secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for all Wisconsinites.

3.

Q: Are there more steps, besides those that Governor Evers has already taken, that the state can do to help people who are really struggling with the economic impact of inflation, gas prices, and fall out from the pandemic?

A: One of my top priorities is fighting for economic security. I applaud the actions Governor Evers has already taken to lower prices for middle-class families in Wisconsin. I believe we could also look at options for tax relief or even tax credits for working families and the middle-class to help provide relief from inflation. If we do look at tax relief, we'd need to make sure that it actually benefits the working families who need it and not the uber-wealthy.

I believe in using the bully pulpit of the State Treasurer’s Office to look out and advocate for the financial wellbeing of all people in Wisconsin. I believe in sending money back to people in local communities across the state. 

4.

Q: What concerns you most about the recent attacks on voting rights and election administrators?

A: The attacks on our democracy are absolutely horrible. Voting is a fundamental right that is at the core of our democracy. We must protect and expand voting rights. We must have a healthy democracy in order to move forward on all of the issues we care about. A healthy democracy is necessary to protect reproductive rights, to end gun violence, to combat climate change, and to fight for economic security.

We must make voting easier and more accessible for everyone in the state. I believe Wisconsin can do more to make our elections more accessible by implementing automatic voter registration, eliminating the need for voter IDs, increasing access to absentee voting, allowing and encouraging ballot dropboxes, and increasing the number of days for early voting.

5.

Q: Wisconsinites pay more for healthcare than many other states, due in large part to healthcare monopolies. How would you propose that we lower these costs?

A: It is absolutely outrageous how inaccessible and unaffordable health care has become in our state and country. I believe in working to make Medicaid expansion a reality in Wisconsin. I will fight to bring down prescription drug costs and will take on the big drug companies who are profiteering off of Wisconsinites.

6.

Q: The state treasurer helps provide funding for school libraries. What would your response be to school boards banning books?

A: I would use the Office of State Treasurer to make sure that school boards and rightwing politicians are not censoring or banning books. I believe it is so important that we teach an honest, well rounded, diverse curriculum to our students in the classroom.

7.

Q: What is the most important function of this office? What would you add to this work? Is there something this office could be doing that it isn’t?

A: A key role of the State Treasurer is educating the public about programs run by the state and partner organizations designed to help every Wisconsinite achieve financial literacy and stability. I will continue State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski’s incredible work as a champion of these programs across the state.

Additionally, I’ll seek to continue building task forces, like those that Treasurer Godlewski spearheaded on home-ownership and retirement security, that seek solutions to the root causes of economic insecurity. Finally, I’ll prioritize the equitable spending of funds by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands and invest them in the communities, schools, and facilities that need them the most.

8.

Q: If you do not win the primary election, will you support the candidate who does?

A: Yes, I will stay in the fight and work to make sure Wisconsin Democrats win up and down the ballot in November. There’s too much on the line, so I pledge to support the Democratic nominee for State Treasurer no matter who wins

dr. Gillian Battino

1.

Q: What motivated you to run for this office, and why did you decide to run at this point in time?

A: I have spent much of my medical career working in the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. I began to see more and more similarities in the type and magnitude of suffering I witnessed abroad with suffering right here in Wisconsin. From political volatility to inaccessible healthcare and education to contaminated air and water, the wealth gap and poverty is ruining our country. While no single person could ever address all of the issues, I do have success and experience in building infrastructure for equity. I decided to run now because I am at a place in my life where my kids are old enough that they are independent. And I decided to run now because having scientists, physicians and women in government is more important now than it ever has been.

state as the next Treasurer.

2.

Q: What relevant experience do you have for this position?

A: I have been a small business owner and I have been the Director at a nonprofit organization, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, Rad-Aid International. I have been a practicing physician and a mother for over 25 years. These experiences have brought me to understand teambuilding, effective communication, advocacy, innovation and networking. As a person who has prepared for retirement, paid off student loans and saved money for my children’s educations, and as guardian for my brother who is disabled, I understand many of the challenges that families face and I am committed to using my skills to resolve them.

3.

Q: Are there more steps, besides those that Governor Evers has already taken, that the state can do to help people who are really struggling with the economic impact of inflation, gas prices, and fall out from the pandemic?

A: A gas tax holiday and a tax refund of some of the surplus money could be extremely helpful to families. 

4.

Q: What concerns you most about the recent attacks on voting rights and election administrators?

A: These attacks are direct attacks on the integrity of our democracy. I feel that the GOP will do anything to preserve their power including compromise the strength of this republic.

5.

Q: Wisconsinites pay more for healthcare than many other states, due in large part to healthcare monopolies. How would you propose that we lower these costs?

A: We can start by reducing the cost of prescriptions. I would pursue a similar avenue as was successful in the state of Connecticut, working with pharmacy managers for the state health insurance program for cost transparency. This increases competition among pharmacies, reducing prices and allows patients and their health care providers to make better decisions. It also allows the public to hold pharmaceuticals companies accountable for price gouging.

6.

Q: The state treasurer helps provide funding for school libraries. What would your response be to school boards banning books?

A:The State Treasurer, Attorney General and Secretary of State make up the board of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands which funds the Common School Fund, funding public school libraries. I would use this position as a bully pulpit against the banning of books. I would pursue any avenue available to protect our public school libraries from an incomplete source of knowledge for their students.

7.

Q: What is the most important function of this office? What would you add to this work? Is there something this office could be doing that it isn’t?

A: The most important function of the office is acting as a check and balance or “fiscal watchdog“ for taxpayers. I would like to work more closely with labor to be sure that projects funded with taxpayer dollars are spent in our state, investing in the economic security of the state. For example, recently a municipal solar project contract was given to a Wisconsin based company. However, the labor that performed the project was brought in from out of state. I want to see our taxpayer dollars spent in Wisconsin on our Wisconsin workforce. And I would like to give our unionized workforce an opportunity to competitively bid on state funded contracts by designing a process of transparency.

8.

Q: If you do not win the primary election, will you support the candidate who does?

A: Yes