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Ben Self elected chair of Kentucky Democratic Party

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, the Kentucky Democratic Party’s State Central Executive Committee elected Ben Self to serve as its new chair.

“The Kentucky Democratic Party has a long and honored tradition in our commonwealth. Kentucky Democrats have done some amazing things for this state from the state park system in the 1950s, our community college system in the 1960s and the country-leading implementation of the Affordable Care Act here in Kentucky we called Kynect,” Self said. “There are many great men and women who have led this party. Today, I was honored to be selected to be one of them.”

Self’s family has roots in Pike County where he spent many holidays and summer weekends at his grandparents in the hollow of Chloe Creek and Elkhorn City. Growing up and currently living in Lexington, he is an entrepreneur and party activist who believes that with the current leadership in the Governor’s Mansion and Legislature, the state is headed in a horrible direction.

“In just one year, we’ve seen our governor and Legislature destroy our workers ability to organize, decrease their wages, gut our education system and now they’re fighting a war against our teachers and state workers,” Self said. “Enough is enough. The great Kentucky Republican experiment is not only morally bankrupt, it is a total failure.”

Self started his political work executing messaging and creating an infrastructure of small donors, volunteers and activists during Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.

From the Dean campaign, Self co-founded Blue State Digital and grew it to more than 100 employees in offices across the globe. He continued with Howard Dean at the DNC, where he worked with candidates across the country.

“My history in politics has been about returning power to the people — where it belongs. Unlike the Republican Party, who only cares about cutting taxes for billionaires, the Kentucky Democratic Party actually cares about everyone in Kentucky,” Self said. “We believe that everyone who works should be able to afford a roof above their head and food on the table. We believe that no Kentuckian should die for lack of access to health care. And we believe that access to a good education is a fundamental right.”

But to do these things, Self said Democrats have to win elections, build long-term party capacity, which includes recruiting candidates, training activists, sharing best practices and building long-term knowledge inside the party.

“It’s time to return the Kentucky Democratic Party to the people,” Self said. “While campaigns and candidates come and go, the only organization that can tie them together, and the grassroots energy and fundraising momentum they produce, is a strong Kentucky Democratic Party.”


Self background

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 1999. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Masters in Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2000

Data Architect, Dean for America, (2003-2004)

Co-founder, Blue State Digital (2004-2010)

Technology Director, Democratic National Committee (2005-2009)

Co-founder, West Sixth Brewing, Lexington, KY (2011-present)

Co-founder, the Bread Box, Lexington, KY (2011-present)