Gov. Tony Evers’ personal assistant from La Crosse dies in tubing accident

Green County Sheriff

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday 25-year-old staffer, Ben Belzer, the governor’s personal assistant, died in a tubing accident over the weekend.

The man died Saturday afternoon in a tubing accident on Sugar River in Green County. Officials said he went underwater around 3:20 p.m. and did not resurface.

The Green County Sheriff’s Office said his body was found at 6:05 p.m. in the water about 400 yards from where he entered.

“Ben was simply incomparable. He was remarkably talented and, even at 25, thoughtful and mature beyond his years. He was exceptionally bright and inquisitive, and he had a thirst for knowledge and understanding of our state and our world,” Evers said in a release. “He brought out the best of us with his wit, never shying away from a laugh even in the most frustrating of times. Ben was always optimistic about how we could be part of making this world a better place. He brought an unrelenting joy and drive to his job and the work we do each day, and it resonated with every person we met, everywhere we went.”

Evers said Belzer was among his circle of five people when he limited his interaction to five people or less during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am grateful and humbled that I had the great fortune of spending as much time with Ben as I did. I talk frequently of our Wisconsin values of kindness, respect, empathy, and compassion—Ben was truly the embodiment of these qualities,” Evers said. “Through the most challenging of times since joining our team and especially these past few months, Ben came to work in earnest service of the people of Wisconsin and he did it with unmatched enthusiasm, grace, and humility. I could never have asked for a better partner in serving the people of our state.”

Belzer joined the governor’s office as Evers’ personal assistant in February 2019. He was raised in La Crosse and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Belzer previously worked for U.S. Congressman Ron Kind and at Blumenfeld & Associates LLC.

“We are devastated by Ben’s death, and our thoughts and prayers are with Ben’s family and friends as we all mourn the loss of an exceptional young man who was taken from us far, far too soon,” Evers said.