Obama General Election Campaign Organization, Wisconsin
revised April 14, 2009  disclaimer

Obama for America  
"Change Begins in Wisconsin" Aug. 13, 2008 [PDF]
State Director
Dan Kanninen
(announced July 8, 2008)  During the primaries Kanninen took leave from his position as chief of staff to Sen. Robert Jauch (D-Poplar) to work on the campaign in WI, OH (early vote lead) and NC (deputy political director and GOTV political director)Chief of staff to Jauch for four years, and has almost a decade of experience in the Wisconsin State Capitol.  Attended the University of Wisconsin.  Superior native.

Political Director
Tim Mahone
(announced July 8, 2008)  A senior advisor to the Obama campaign during the Wisconsin primary.  Director of the Gov. Jim Doyle's Southeast Office located in Milwaukee.  Political director for Gov. Doyle’s re-election campaign in 2006. Graduate of Marquette University.  Native of Kenosha.

Communications Director
Phil Walzak
(announced July 8, 2008)  Has worked in Wisconsin politics and media relations for nearly a decade, and most recently worked for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  Ran Sen. Herb Kohl’s successful 2006 re-election campaign.  Has served as press secretary to Congressmen Tom Barrett and Jerry Kleczka.

New Media Director
Ian Jungbacker

New Media Production Director
Thomas Kelley

Campaign for Change

General Election Director
Tanya Bjork
(announced July 8, 2008)  Taking leave from position as a regional director for EMILY's List.  In 2004 Bjork served as the AFL-CIO desk coordinator for MN, WI and IL, based in Madison.  Aide to state Senator Brian Burke.  Assembly Democratic Caucus (ADC) director under State Representative Shirley Krug in 2000.  Political director for U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold's re-election campaign in 1998.  Field director for U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone's re-election campaign in 1996.

Field Director
Nicole Derse
(announced July 8, 2008)  Started on Obama's campaign in New Hampshire in March 2007, working political desk responsible for faith, progressives, people of color and GLBT; also worked on the campaign in South Carolina, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland.  Activist in San Francisco.  For much of 2006 Derse worked as field director for PowerPAC; coordinating with grassroots organizations in Southern California to help them increase voter turnout.  Worked for the Alliance for a Better California, a labor-backed organization formed to oppose Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Nov. 2005 ballot initiatives.  Managed Ross Mirkarimi's successful 2004 campaign for San Francisco Supervisor.  Youth empowerment coordinator for the San Francisco Youth Commission for three years.  Degree in urban studies at Macalester College, 2001.  From Slinger, WI.

Deputy Field Director, Southeastern WI
Hallie Montoya Tansey
(announced July 8, 2008)  Started on the campaign in May 2007 in Nevada, and continued in New Mexico, Texas, and Illinois.  Served as national program director for the League of Young Voters (aka the League of Pissed Off Voters).  Laid off from her job as a public school music teacher in 2003. Born and raised in Albuquerque, NM.

Deputy Field Director, Northern and Western WI
Dan Grandone
(announced July 8, 2008)  Volunteer on the campaign starting in April 2007, including full-time volunteer in New Hampshire in summer 2007.  Over ten years of community organizing experience; worked for the Gamaliel Foundation in Saint Louis for seven years.  Native of Neenah, WI.

Regional Organization
about 58 offices around the state

Political Outreach (Constituency) Director
Meryl Harrell
Previously worked as the public lands associate at The Wilderness Society in Washington, DC.  Graduate of Yale Law School.  A.B. in geosciences and environmental studies from Princeton University.  From Watchung, NJ.

Youth Vote Director
Ally Carragher
Started on the campaign in Iowa and worked in Illinois, Colorado, Ohio and Puerto Rico.  Degree in political science from the University of Vermont.  Originally from Colchester, CT.

Women's Vote Director
??Becky Carrol

Press Secretary
Matt Lehrich
Started out on the NH Primary campaign as assistant to the directors and multimedia producer.  Interned in Obama's Senate office.  Grew up in Boston.

Policy Director
Peter Harrell
J.D. from Yale Law School, 2008.  Did GOTV for three weeks in the Pennsylvania primary.  Before law school Harrell worked as a reporter for Congressional Quarterly.

Director of Scheduling
Alexandra Simbana
(announced July 8, 2008)  Started with the Obama campaign during the Wisconsin primary, and went on to do scheduling and outreach during the North Carolina and Puerto Rico primaries.  Worked on the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Wisconsin in 2004 and the Gore campaign in Seattle in 2000. She has lived in Madison since 2004.

Voter File Manager
Joel Hartig

Director of Operations
Dina Hadziselimovic
(announced July 8, 2008)  "spent five months performing field and operations work for the Obama campaign during the Nevada Caucuses."  Graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in political science.  Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

GOTV Director
Brandyn Keating
Field director at Coalition for Our Communities, the campaign against a Sept. 2008 ballot initiative to eliminate the Mass. income tax.  Worked in field on the Obama campaign in March-April 2008.  Finance director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.  Executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, Sept. 2005-June 2007.  Regional field director on Deval Patrick's 2006 campaign for governor.  Lead organizer for the Coalition for Social Justice/Coalition Against Poverty.  Graduate of Suffolk University Law School, 2006.

Voter Protection Director
Alexis Prieur
Mediator/legal assistant in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Insurance and Financial Services Division.  In Fall 2004 Prieur served as a college organizer at Plymouth College in NH.  J.D. from Northeastern Law, 2006.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin  |  222 W. Washington Ave., Suite 150  |  Madison, WI 53703   (608) 255-5172   >
Joe Wineke
(elected chair in 2005)  Served briefly as a lobbyist for AT&T in 2007 but resigned.  In 1998 Wineke ran for the open congressional seat held by the Congressman Scott Klug but finished third in the primary (Tammy Baldwin elected).  Elected to the state Senate in April 1993 and re-elected in 1996.  Elected to the Assembly representing the 79th Assembly District in 1982 and re-elected to five more two-year terms.  Worked as a researcher for a Madison-based tax organization.  Member of the Verona City Council, 1980-83.  B.A. in political science from University of Wisconsin- Madison, 1980.  Born in Fitchburg, Wisconsin and raised in Verona.

Executive Director
Jessica Erickson   
(announced on June 6, 2008)  Most recently press secretary for Gov. Jim Doyle and communications director at the Department of Workforce Development.  DPW communications director, 2005-07.  Managed State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster's 2005 re-election campaign.  Worked in Gov. Doyle's press office from 2003-05.  Graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  From La Crosse.

Field Director
Jeremy Slaughter
(Has worked for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin since April 2008).  Experience includes work on Sheldon Whitehouse's campaign for U.S. Senate in Rhode Island in 2006, Gov. Tony Knowles' U.S. Senate campaign in Alaska in 2004, and South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson's re-election campaign in 2002.

Field - Madison Region   Don Jones

Communications Director
Alec Loftus
Previously a reporter for WisPolitics.com.  Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004.

Voter File and Tech.
Chris Kelly

Finance Consultant
Jay Blakeley

Compliance Director
Amanda Cone

Membership Director
KJ Hansmann

former  joined Mayor Dave Cieslewicz as press secretary effective July 28, 2008
Communications Director
Rachel Strauch-Nelson
Press Secretary for Fair Wisconsin, the campaign that fought against the civil unions and marriage ban. Prior to that, Strauch-Nelson served in communications roles at Doyle for Wisconsin, Linda Clifford for Justice, and the 2004 Democratic Coordinated Campaign.  Degree in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Wisconsin native.

Obama primary
2004 Kerry

Copyright © 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action