Contact: Robert Kraig
(414) 322-5324
[email protected]org

Statewide: In 2018 an unprecedented number of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members stepped forward as new candidates for state office. In all 18 Citizen Action members ran as challengers for state office, in many cases taking on entrenched incumbent Republicans incumbents in hotly contested races for State Senate, State Assembly, Lt. Governor and State Treasurer. In addition, member Randy Bryce ran a strong race for Congress.

This outpouring of leadership from members reflects both the growing statewide grassroots influence of Citizen Action, and a general upsurge in civic engagement among progressives. It builds on our Spring election successes, when 49 Citizen Action Members were elected to local office.

Citizen Action member who won challenger elections to state office in 2018 were Mandela Barnes (Lt. Governor); Sarah Godlewski (State Treasure); Marisabel Cabrera (State Assembly) and Jeff Smith (State Senate). (This does not include Citizen Action members in the Legislature who successfully ran for re-election). In addition, a number of candidates who lost ran closer than expected races in traditionally Republican districts

The Citizen Action candidates who did not win had to contend with highly partisan legislative maps which rigged the game against them. Despite this obstacles, all of the Citizen Action member-candidates made a difference both by turning out votes for Tammy Baldwin, Tony Evers, and Josh Kaul, and expanding the playing field for Republicans to create more electoral opportunities for progressive candidates.

“Citizen Action members across the state ran highly competitive grassroots campaigns in districts that were rigged against them by unfair maps,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Even when our member-candidates fell short of victory, their hard work and one-on-one engagement with tens of thousands of voters improved overall Democratic performance, helping swing key statewide races to progressive candidates.”

Full List of Citizen Action Member Challengers for State and Federal Office
(Not including Citizen Action members already in the State Legislature, running for re-election)

Lt. Governor
Mandela Barnes

State Treasurer
Sarah Godlewski

U.S. Congress District 1
Randy Bryce

Julie Meyers (primary candidate)

Senate District 5
Julie Henszey

Senate District 31
Jeff Smith

Assembly District 4
Terry Lee

Assembly District 9
Marisabel Cabrera

Assembly District 15
Lillian Cheesman

Assembly District 21
Gabriel Gomez

Assembly District 22
Aaron Matteson

Assembly District 23
Liz Sumner

Assembly District 24
Emily Segrist

Assembly District 28
Kim Butler

Assembly District 35
Mark Martello

Assembly District 60
Chris Rahlf

Assembly District 68
Wendy Sue Johnson

Assembly District 72
David Gorski

Assembly District 84
Erica Flynn

Assembly District 86
Nancy Stencil

Assembly District 88
Tom Sieber

Assembly District 89
Ken Holdorf

Link to news release https://www.citizenactionwi.org/recognizing_citizen_action_members_who_challenged_incumbents

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