And then there were two

Jay Schroeder dropped out of the race for Wisconsin Secretary of State Saturday to pursue an open 55th Assembly seat, vacated by Dean Kaufert who was recently elected mayor of Neenah. Mr. Schroeder is the last SOS candidate running on an elimination platform.

“I will remain deeply committed in my opposition to wasteful government spending and promise that I will continue the fight to make sure that every tax payer dollar is spent wisely here in Wisconsin,” Mr. Schroeder said in a Facebook statement.

Mr. Schroeder’s departure leaves 3rd District GOP Vice Chair Julian Bradley and Racine County GOP Chair Bill Folk as the last two candidates in the race. Bradley is the clear frontrunner, sweeping recent straw polls by overwhelming margins. His campaign also states he’s traveled more than 15,000 miles since his January entrance into the race.

With Mr. Schroeder out of the race the conversation around eliminating the office will instead move to how to reform the office. All candidates agree that the current arrangement where 36-year incumbent Secretary of State Doug La Follette is paid a handsome salary while having no duties other than showing up at the occasional event is unsustainable.

In fact there are three candidates still running for the office, but Garey Bies, a 67-year-old state Assembly representative and late entrant, though technically also in the race, hasn’t been seen at any events. Whether his campaign is serious is enough of a question that I’m not including him.

The endorsement contest for Secretary of State will surely be one of the more interesting parts of the Republican Party of Wisconsin convention in Milwaukee in just about a month.

About the writer: Chris Rochester has worked in communications and finance for a state Senate and congressional campaign, consulted on numerous Assembly and local races, and has held leadership roles in his local Republican Party. He's communications director for the MacIver Institute. Commentary here is strictly his own.