Candidates who promise to tackle environmental goals win in 2020 election

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Now’s the time to turn those words into action, says Environment America

Environment America

WASHINGTON — Up and down ballots across the country Tuesday, voters elected candidates who promised to protect the environment.

“From Sen. Ed Markey in Massachusetts to Rep. Andy Kim in New Jersey to newcomer Carolyn Bordeaux in Georgia, voters supported pro-environment candidates this election,” said Wendy Wendlandt, Environment America’s acting president. “We look forward to working with these green champions to deliver on the promise of cleaner energy, cleaner air and water, and better protected public lands for all Americans. Those promises united voters from across the political spectrum. Now, we must turn to the important work of transforming votes into grassroots support for these very reforms.”

Environment America and many of its 29 state-based affiliates endorsed and supported environmentally friendly ballot initiatives — such as the transportation-transforming Proposition A in Austin, Texas — as well as federal and state candidates nationwide, including the presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and Senator-elect John Hickenlooper in Colorado. At least 88 of the 117 candidates who Environment America supported won, with additional races to be called over the coming hours and days. 

“Starting with the re-election of the Senate’s #1 climate champion Ed Markey, through John Hickenlooper’s win in Colorado and Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock advancing to runoff elections in Georgia, our work has already turned the Senate more ‘green,’” said Wendlandt. Environment America Action Fund and its partner, United for Massachusetts, led the independent effort to re-elect Markey in his primary election, and Environment America Voter Action contributed to the Hickenlooper, Ossoff and Warnock campaigns.

Environment America Action Fund also spent $25,000 on a radio ad supporting Gary Peters for U.S. Senate in a hotly contested reelection fight in Michigan. The Associated Press just declared Peters the winner on Thursday by a half of a percentage point. 

“It was so encouraging to see so many candidates emphasize climate change, clean air, clean water, and public lands on the campaign trail this year,” said Wendlandt. “We look forward to working with our federal representatives, in particular, to undo the damage of the last four years. We need to expand public protections of America’s lands and oceans, speed adoption of solar and wind power, and take action to protect the health of our children, including getting the lead out of our drinking water.”

In total, Environment America and its affiliated organizations endorsed or contributed to candidates in 31 states, with a focus on races involving environmental leaders. For example, in the key state of Pennsylvania, Environment America Action Fund focused its efforts on personal phone calls, securing nearly 60,000 pledges from voters to vote by mail and later conducting a get-out-the-vote program aimed at turning out tens of thousands of voters for Biden-Harris and 16 state legislative races.