About PSNW


About PSNW

Progressive Strategies NW is a full-service political consulting firm specializing in targeting, messaging and voter communications.  From the school board to the state legislature and on up, we help campaigns with a complete spectrum of campaign services - strategy, materials, and perhaps most importantly of all, those big questions that come to mind at 7 PM.


Nic Van Putten and Kess Smith met in 2009 working on local campaigns. Nic had previously worked as a field organizer for President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Kess was one of the top ten fundraisers for President Obama’s Seattle Kickoff in 2007. After managing local campaigns, they formed Progressive Strategies NW in 2011. (While Kess has moved onto another business venture, he still remains a vested and much-loved partner.)
After several years of back-and-forth, intense campaigns against rival consultant Ben Anderstone, we joined forces in 2014. The rest is history…in the making!

Progressive Strategies NW brings youth, energy, and passion for electing great candidates and advancing critical ballot initiatives.

We pride ourselves in being different from the run-of-the-mill, conveyer-belt consulting firms. We believe that campaigning should adapt to today’s changing politics. You deserve access to industry-leading data and advice.

We are honest, straightforward, and affordably priced...and we'd love to sit down over coffee (or tea, or beer!) to discuss what we can offer.

About the PSNW Team

Ben Anderstone

Born and raised in Tacoma, Wash., Ben cut his teeth on local politics at a young age. During college, he worked on a range of local campaigns, from state legislature to domestic partnerships. Ben graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in Politics & Government and joined the PSNW team in March 2014. Ben is also a regular contributor of political analysis to Seattle's Crosscut, as well as television and print media.

In his spare time, Ben is involved with the Downtown Seattle Association Residents Council, West Edge Neighborhood Association, and other organizations. He's also a nerd of many passions, from demography to pop music history. Ben lives near Seattle's historic Pike Place Market.

Nic Van Putten

Nic grew up on Vashon Island and in Lakewood, Wash. Nic’s political experience began with grassroots organizing for environmental and civil rights groups. In 2008, he traveled to Northern Alaska and inner-city Indianapolis as staff for Barack Obama’s campaign. Nic received his bachelor’s degree in Politics & Government from the University of Puget Sound.

Nic lives with his wife Alex, sons David and Miles, and loyal family pups, in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood.