Candidate for Chair
Ben Wikler was raised in Madison, Wisconsin, where he now lives with his wife, Beth, and their three children. Ben has spent his life fighting for economic, social, and racial justice. In his work, most recently for the progressive group MoveOn.org, Ben has played a leadership role in some of the most critical political fights of recent years—from the successful battle to save the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, to the defense of Dreamers, immigrants, and refugees, to the rise of the Blue Wave of 2018. While working across the country, Ben has always stayed connected to his Wisconsin roots, most recently working to help elect the Evers/Barnes ticket and sounding the alarm about the GOP power grab after their victory. He's running for chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin because, together, we can supercharge grassroots energy in every part of Wisconsin to fight for our progressive agenda, beat Trump, and secure Democratic victories all the way up and down the ticket in 2020 and beyond.
From a young age, Ben has been driven by a passion for change and inspired by Wisconsin's progressive tradition. He got his start as a campaign volunteer when, at the age eleven, he stuffed envelopes and put up yard signs for the Congressional campaign of his godmother, Ada Deer. As a high school student at Madison West, he went on to volunteer for then-Assemblywoman Tammy Baldwin; crisscross Wisconsin for Ed Garvey's gubernatorial campaign, and organize a statewide student campaign to increase school funding. As a student at Harvard, Ben interned for Russ Feingold, worked at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, and fell in love with his now-wife Beth while they were putting up posters together for a protest for funding to fight global HIV and AIDS.
In the following years, Ben worked nationally for climate change, peace, human rights, and many other issues. All the while, he traveled home to Wisconsin to help during key fights, from joining the Act 10 protests to knocking on Wisconsin doors in 2016. As MoveOn's Washington, DC director, Ben worked closely with the Obama White House, served as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders, and helped raise millions of dollars for grassroots organizing to elect Hillary Clinton. Since Trump's election, he's worked around the clock to resist right-wing attacks on our communities, end GOP control of government, and advance progressive values.
Ben and Beth recently moved back home to raise their kids Mac (7), Suzy Lynn (4), and Jack (1) in Wisconsin, close to doting grandparents—and to work alongside fellow Wisconsinites to build a more progressive future for the state that made Ben who he is today.