Hello, CarbonWA friends: Election season is upon us and we’ve released our first-ever climate voters’ guide! Read on for our top choices for state legislature, plus a climate initiative is on the ballot!
CarbonWA supports Initiative 1631. Read more in a detailed analysis we produced earlier this year and consider checking out the campaign’s website. If you wish to get more involved, now is the time. The campaign is asking volunteers to to sign up to phonebank and to sign up for Votercircle, a secure system that allows you to email your contacts encouraging them to vote.
Top Races for State House of Representatives
A quick note about our choices for House: The candidates highlighted below are smart climate champions, but they also represent the most competitive races where the chamber’s ability to move climate legislation hangs in the balance. Some great legislative leaders, like Joe Fitzgibbon, are safe bets to win re-election so we didn’t highlight them up front. Our full endorsements list (below) includes all of our House endorsements.
|42nd LD – Sharon Shewmake: We’ve already told you about Sharon. She’s a longtime CarbonWA supporter, an environmental economist, a mom, a professor, an activist, a carbon pricing supporter – it doesn’t get any better than this! She’s running neck and neck for state house in the 42nd LD against Vincent Buys, who hasn’t had anything useful to say about climate change. You can support Sharon here. GO SHARON!|
|44th LD – Jared Mead: In last legislative session’s heated carbon pricing debate, Jared was in the thick of it as an aide to Senator Guy Palumbo. Jared’s a millennial who is savvy and committed on climate issues. He shared with us that he, “first decided to run for office to pursue climate policy.” He got more votes in the primary than the incumbent, Republican Mark Harmsworth, who hasn’t been a climate leader. Jared’s the dad to that small orange dog too. GO JARED! Support Jared here.|
|35th LD – David Daggett: David is a PhD engineer who helped out with the March for Science. He supports climate action but is sensitive to the needs of his rural district. He sees climate as an opportunity, saying, “Putting a price on CO2 pollution will encourage its reduction and will also create new business opportunities.” His opponent, Drew MacEwan, took a trip to Demark to learn about clean energy but used that to conclude we don’t need a price on carbon. David is running competitively in this lean-Republican district, plus, he’s also a dog owner which we love! Help David win here!|
|47th LD – Debra Entenman: Debra Entenman is a solid pick. She’s smart and knows her district after a long stint as Congressman Adam Smith’s aide. She may not be one of the top leaders on climate issues, but her questionnaire was strong and she believes we need to take action, stating unequivocally “I believe climate change is real, caused by the use of fossil fuels, and can be slowed or reversed by legislative policies.” This statement alone puts her head and shoulders above her opponent. This one’ll be a nail-biter. Support Debra here.|
Top Races for State Senate
A quick note about our choices for the Senate: Much like the house, we didn’t highlight some of the easy choices, like Reuven Carlyle in Seattle, because they aren’t in a competitive race. Some folks are closely watch a race between Pinky Vargas and Doug Erickson in the 42nd, but neither engaged our endorsement process. Here are some of the races that will determine whether the chamber can move climate legislation forward.
|47th LD – Joe Fain: Senator Fain has been one of the most consistent Republican voices on climate change. When discussing his approach with us, he said “Combating climate change requires sober thinking and reasoned action based on the best available science.” Specifically, Joe endorsed I-732 and has since sponsored a bill that would require utilities to factor the cost of carbon emissions into their long-term plans. Our take is that Joe Fain’s presence is going to be essential to bipartisan action on climate change. Help us RETURN JOE FAIN to Olympia by volunteering or donating here!
Update (10/25): We remain concerned about the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Fain made on Sept. 27, after he received our endorsement. Sen. Fain has requested an investigation, which we believe is the appropriate course. We will continue to monitor the situation.
|30th LD – Mark Miloscia: Mark Miloscia has been another important Republican voice on climate change. He’s been very engaged in finding bipartisan, smart, accountable carbon reduction policies. If we had more leaders like Mark, Washington would’ve solved this challenge by now. Mark supported I-732, engaged in good faith on the carbon pricing discussions last spring, and has supported net-metering. We especially appreciate Mark’s focus on good government and accountability. Mark summarizes his approach in saying, “Only by working together, in a spirit of compromise, quality, and accountability, will we develop a carbon reduction plan that truly works.” Climate voters will make a good choice if they return Mark to the Senate – help him win here!
In the 30th, democratic challenger Claire Wilson is also a reasonable choice. We also endorsed Claire because even though she has less direct experience on climate than Mark, she has made addressing climate change a top priority. Claire said in her questionnaire, “I will advance environmental bills to reduce our state’s emissions, support clean industries, and mitigate the damage caused by effects of climate change we are already seeing — like wildfires and decreased air quality throughout the state.” You can support Claire here.
|26th LD Emily Randall: This race is one of the top prospects to expand the climate majority in the Senate. Emily is running in one of the most competitive districts to replace retiring Senator Jan Angel. Angel was not engaged on climate issues, and we aren’t confident that Emily’s opponent Marty McClendon would be either. Emily had this to say: “We need to address our greenhouse gas and carbon emissions — keeping our air and water clean for our salmon and orcas, our children and our grandchildren.” You can support Emily here.|
The Rest of Our House & Senate Endorsements
|1st Rep||Shelley Kloba||Rep. Kloba has been a reliable environmental vote. On climate, she says, “I support common-sense approaches to reducing our fossil fuels.” Vote Kloba!|
|4th Rep||Mary May||If she wins, May promises to “sponsor and support legislation aimed at incentivizing clean and renewable energy production.”|
|7th Rep||Michael Bell||Bell told us, “Climate change cannot be denied…We have the technology to accomplish this and stimulate the economy at the same time. Why would anyone oppose these actions?” We couldn’t agree more – vote Bell!|
|9th Rep||Matt Sutherland||Matt sold us on his race in this video of a debate where he calls out the incumbent Joe Schmick for his anti-science climate denial. On climate, Matt says, “We have an opportunity and an obligation to the future.” Matt also served in the military and studied clean energy at WSU.|
|25th Rep||Jaime Smith||Smith says about climate change, “waiting is not an option when our children’s lives are on the line.” Vote Smith.|
|26th Rep||Joy Stanford||Stanford says “I believe Washington should be at the forefront of the clean energy economy.” She support public-private partnerships, and wants to focus on job creation and reducing traffic.|
|27th Rep||Laurie Jinkins (Pos 1)
Jake Fey (Pos 2)
|Incumbents Fey and Jinkins have been reliable climate advocates and voters in the 27th should send them back to Olympia.|
|32nd Sen||Jesse Salomon & Maralyn Chase||Incumbent Chase backed I-732 and has been an independent voice within her party for climate action. Salomon is challenging her as a fellow Democrat, with solid experience in local government and with climate change as a priority. Voters looking for daylight between Chase and Salomon might find ST3 (Chase is skeptical of ST3’s bang for the buck) and density defining issues.|
|34th Rep||Joe Fitzgibbon||Joe Fitzgibbon has been the strongest representative on climate issues in Olympia. He’s provided leadership on carbon pricing and low carbon fuels. If we could clone him (will someone work on that?) and send 10 more Joe Fitzgibbon’s to Olympia, we would.|
|34th Sen||Joe Nguyen||Joe Nguyen is a good choice here. His summed his stance in saying, “I am proud to support a carbon tax in Washington State and to ensuring that implementation of policies are done in an equitable manner.”|
|35th Rep||James Thomas||Thomas put together a competitive primary in this lean-red district. He’s an economic planner who would be an upgrade on climate issues from the current incumbent, Griffey.|
|39th Rep||Ivan Lewis||Lewis supports carbon pricing and says, “we are faced with a moral crisis” when it comes to climate change. He’s right.|
|44th Sen||Steve Hobbs||Steve Hobbs isn’t afraid to buck his party, and we value his independent streak. At times he’s frustrated us too, like when he withheld a committee vote for carbon tax legislation, but he is the stronger choice for the 44th. Hobbs pledges in his questionnaire “to advocate for a sustainable transportation infrastructure including investments in multi-modal and commute-trip reduction programs.”|
|45th Sen||Manka Dhingra||Senator Dhingra deserves a full term after winning a narrow special election last year. She co-sponsored carbon tax legislation in her first year and is a strong transit supporter.|
|48th Sen||Patty Kuderer||Challenger Rodney Tom might be someone who could bridge partisan divides on climate, but he has so far failed to speak up about the issue. Kuderer, on the other hand, co-sponsored carbon tax legislation last session. Kuderer has our support.|
|48th Rep||Amy Walen||Walen has a wealth of experience in Kirkland city government (including helping pass a plastic bag ban), and has concrete ideas to advance climate action. Go Amy!|
A few final thoughts to leave you with: We didn’t endorse in every single legislative race. In some cases, this is because we thought both candidates were middling on climate issues, so there wasn’t a distinction to draw. In other cases, it was because a potentially good candidate didn’t complete the questionnaire or engage with our process. That’s fine, campaign season is very busy for everyone, but it explains the omission of a few well known climate leaders. Our endorsement list also tilts to the Democratic side mostly due to participation rates among the candidates. A few Republicans submitted questionnaires we liked, but their knowledge of the issue and commitment to solutions wasn’t sufficient for an endorsement. We are hopeful that they will engage with us and get over the endorsement line in future years. On the initiative front, in addition to our analysis and our support statement, you can get an alternative take from past CarbonWA leaders on Yoram Bauman’s blog, if you want to dig in more. The full voters guide is also on our website, just click here.
We make mistakes, so if you think we whiffed on one of these, please write us and make your case, and we might just publish your critique in the next newsletter!
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— The CarbonWA Team