MADISON, Wis. — Nellie Sires announced today she was stepping down as the executive director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, effective August 13. In her time as executive director, Sires led the party through a shift to all virtual organizing in response to the pandemic, the victory of Joe Biden, victories in the state Superintendent and Wisconsin Supreme Court races, and creation of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s largest off-year program ever. Sires was at the helm as WisDems was named the Washington Post’s State Party of the Year and oversaw the national training program at the Democratic National Convention, which was held in Milwaukee in 2020.
The party plans to launch a statewide and national search for its next executive director, under the ongoing leadership of Chair Ben Wikler, in the weeks to come. Senior Elections Director Devin Remiker will serve as interim executive director on an interim basis.
Statement from Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Nellie Sires:
“I am so proud of the team I was able to lead and scale to create lasting organizing infrastructure in the state, and even more proud of the way we rapidly rewrote the playbook for voter turnout during COVID. Together, we delivered Wisconsin for President Biden in 2020, we elected Jill Underly as the next Superintendent, and we laid essential groundwork to re-elect Governor Evers and defeat Ron Johnson in 2022. But above all this, perhaps my proudest accomplishment is working to make WisDems more reflective of the Democratic population of Wisconsin. I entered this role with a goal of always centering equity and inclusion in our work — and the proof is in the extraordinary results achieved by the people that we’ve been able to hire and retain. The diversity of our staff across race, gender, sexuality, and rurality, especially in leadership, has made our work more strategic and the organization stronger than ever before.
“I am so thankful to this team, our organizers, and all the elected and community leaders who welcomed me into this state. I also am so appreciative of Ben Wikler for his leadership and friendship. Wisconsin was the tipping point state in 2020 and remains at the center of the political universe in 2022. I couldn’t be more proud and confident in the direction of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and I can’t wait to keep cheering on the team as they fight to defend and strengthen our democracy.”
Statement from Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler:
“Nellie Sires’s brilliant leadership has transformed the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and her leadership has been integral to our electoral success. Her values-centric vision, her superb management, and her strategic thinking and ability to execute on an unimaginable number of projects simultaneously were all key to turning Wisconsin blue in 2020. She has put in place a truly excellent, diverse, and talented staff who will continue to make sure the party is living its values and meeting its ambitious goals as we begin our leadership transition.
“Nellie was at the helm as we wrote the pandemic campaign playbook during our 2020 spring election, as we defeated Donald Trump, as we elected Jill Underly as the State Superintendent, and as we built our largest-ever off-year program. I’m so grateful for Nellie’s leadership and what she has built at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. And more than that, I am so grateful for her friendship and partnership at every step of this journey. She is a true fighter for democracy, and we are all better for having the experience of working alongside her.”