As Election Day Approaches, Environment New Jersey Releases 2015 State Endorsements

Media Contacts

Environment New Jersey

Trenton – Environment New Jersey today announced its full slate of endorsements for state legislative elections this year, as well as a set of county races, as it prepares to launch a get out the vote and voter education push in key legislative races leading up to Tuesday’s Election Day.

 Environment New Jersey, on behalf of their more than 20,000 citizen members, announced a set of legislative endorsements for legislative champions in districts ranging from Paramus to Pomona.  Receiving the group’s endorsements are eight legislative champions spanning six districts across the state: Asm. Tim Eustace (D-38), Asm. Joe Lagana (D-38), Asm. John McKeon (D-27), Asw. Mila Jasey (D-27), Asm. Reed Gusciora (D-15), Asm. Dan Benson (D-14), Asm. Herb Conaway (D-7) and Asm. Vince Mazzeo (D-2).  These legislators range in experience from freshman legislators to grizzled Trenton veterans. But they are united in their desire to protect the environment and be willing to stand up to special interests in Trenton.

“These leaders are environmental champions in the Legislature,” said Doug O’Malley, the director of Environment New Jersey. “They have fought for the environment, and haven’t been afraid to stand up to Gov. Christie and their own party leaders. Although they face spirited challenges, they have not shied away from standing up for clean air and water, open spaces and clean energy. We need their continued leadership more than ever because we need legislators who will side with the people over the polluters.”

In the last two years, these leaders have advanced environmental protections and fought a number of rollbacks by Gov. Christie to pollution-busting programs, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and worked to ban fracking waste.

“We urge voters who care about the environment not to sit this election out,” said O’Malley. “Environmentally-minded voters in these key districts should know how critical their vote is this year in a low-turnout election and why these legislators should be re-elected to stand up for our air and water. This year, your vote will count even more – stand up for the environment inside the voting booth.

Environment New Jersey also endorsed two candidates for county races: Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard (D) and Joanne Schwarz (D), based on their local advocacy for environmental protections, including protecting Burlington County communities from the impacts of proposed natural gas pipelines through the county and the Pinelands National Reserve.

“Every election is important for the environment, but especially an election that even the greenest of voters might think that it’s not important enough turn out next Tuesday,” said O’Malley. “We want to send a clear message to our supporters and the public that their vote matters on the environment and these champions deserve your vote.”


Environment New Jersey Inc., a citizen-based environmental advocacy group with offices in New Brunswick and Trenton, represents more than 20,000 dues-paying members across New Jersey.  

Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-38), a legislator who has proven his green credentials, has championed electric car infrastructure (as well as being a Nissan Leaf driver), has opposed giveaways to developers, and advocated for clean energy programs, including being the lead sponsor in the Assembly of legislation to power New Jersey with 80% clean, renewable energy by 2050. He also has strongly supported efforts to ban fracking waste from being dumped in New Jersey’s waterways, and opposed the fare hikes at NJ Transit.

Assemblyman Joe Lagana (D-38) is a freshman legislator who has championed the importance of New Jersey rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatve (RGGI). He is the lead sponsor of Assembly legislation to override the NJDEP regulation pulling us out of the RGGI climate program, and has been a strong ally against standing up to the legacy of environmental rollbacks of the Christie Administration.

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27) is the Vice-Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee and was a prime sponsor for a package of bills to protect Barnegat Bay, most notably legislation to set strict pollution limits for the Bay which was vetoed by the Governor. The Assemblyman was the leading prime sponsor of legislation to defend the RGGI program by overriding the Christie Administration’s regulation pulling the state out of the program governing RGGI.  He was a prime sponsor of a groundbreaking bill that establishes financing for wind energy off New Jersey’s coasts and is a supporter of new legislation to expand the state’s renewable energy to 80% by 2050 and set a mandatory state policy that would cut energy demand by 20%. The Assemblyman has consistently worked against and voted against bills that would weaken environmental protections, including allowing NJDEP to make substantial changes without taking public comment and efforts to expedite development projects without environmental reviews.

Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27) has consistently opposed environmental deregulation bills and was a prime sponsor along with Assemblyman McKeon of a bill to set strict pollution limits to clean up Barnegat Bay. She also co-sponsored legislation to defend the RGGI program and has been a staunch ally through her years in the Legislature, and has been willing to stand up to party leadership to oppose bills allowing developers to sidestep environmental protections.                       

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15)

Gusciora is a former chair of the Assembly Environment Committee and the Assemblyman was the original champion and sponsor on Clean Car legislation well over a decade ago. He has continued to be one of the most progressive voices in Trenton on the environment and other causes. More recently, he has been the lead sponsor on legislation to ban fracking waste from being dumped into our waterways, and has opposed the proposed PennEast fracked gas pipeline from ripping through Mercer County.

Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14) has been a key supporter in our efforts to ban fracking waste, which have twice been thwarted by Gov. Christie vetoes. He is an active member of the Assembly Environment Committee. He also has been a cosponsor of legislation to save the RGGI program that the Legislature passed before being vetoed by Gov. Christie. Asm. Benson has a strong environmental record, especially on clean energy because of his background on energy efficiency, and has opposed attempts to weaken environmental rules at the behest of developers.

Assemblyman Herb Conaway, M.D. (D-7)

Asm. Conaway has been a long-standing member of the Legislature, and one of the few South Jersey Democrats willing to oppose his own party on key environmental votes throughout his career, including efforts that would have expanded overdevelopment. He is especially strong on Delaware River issues, like supporting both a fracking ban and a ban on fracking waste.

Burlington County Freeholders: Aimee Belgard (D) and Joanne Schwarz (D)

The record of both these freeholder candidates has been especially strong, from efforts to expand open space funding to repairing infrastructure in Burlington County like the Centeron Bridge to encouraging more transparency of county government. Both Freeholder Belgard and Freeholder Schwarz have shone with their leadership opposing the destruction of the Pine Barrens by natural gas pipelines going through the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve and through the neighborhoods of Burlington County.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2)

Asm. Mazzeo is a legislative freshman who has made his mark during his two-year term on green initiatives, specifically his championing of off-shore wind projects off the Jersey Shore. Over the last two years, he has been an incredibly strong advocate for off-shore wind, and has introduced multiple bills to jumpstart off-shore wind off the coast of Atlantic City and to make the lone proposed New Jersey wind project in state waters (Fishermen’s Energy) a reality.


Paid for by Environment New Jersey, 104 Bayard St., Fl. 6, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. This expenditure was not made with the cooperation or prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or person or committee acting on behalf of the candidate.