Ben has a proven record of success growing the Democratic Party in conservative areas. In 2018 as Chair of the Culpeper County Democrats, Ben oversaw county-wide reforms that raised the profile of the Democratic Party and contributed to Abigail Spanberger winning all four precincts in the town of Culpeper. In 2017 he was the Democratic nominee for Delegate against Nick Freitas and was the best-performing Democrat since the 1990s in the 30th House district, which overlaps heavily with the 17th Senate district. Ben was one of the few Democratic candidates in Virginia to match Governor Northam's performance and even ran ahead of the Governor in some precincts. Ben is the first openly gay candidate to run for the 17th Senate district, and chose to run in large part due to Senator Bryce Reeves' record of homophobia. Ben is a computer scientist and former National Science Foundation research fellow with multiple publications in the field of artificial intelligence. He lives in Culpeper with his partner of 15 years, Chris, a librarian.
Ben believes in putting people first and is driven by a fundamental belief that we are all neighbors at the end of the day. His many priorities include vocational training, tools for small farmers, affordable housing and infrastructure, criminal justice reform and equality under the law, expanding access to mental healthcare, protecting the environment, and campaign finance and voting reforms.