Sierra Club Endorsements for State Assembly

The Sierra Club has announced its endorsements for New Jersey State Legislature candidates running in the November 3, 2015 election.

“We believe the candidates we endorsed for election and re-election fight for the environment on a day-to-day basis. The incumbents we endorsed are people who have stood up to protect the environment and have earned the right to be re-elected. We believe the challengers we endorsed are candidates that will do a better job for the environment than the incumbents they are running against. We urge their election so they can continue to protect our air, land, and water and deal with climate change. These candidates have at times stood up to tremendous political pressure and special interests and have worked very hard to move forward important legislation, whether it is on green jobs and fracking waste or standing up to environmental rollbacks by the Christie administration,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

The New Jersey Sierra Club’s endorsement process involves mailing questionnaires to candidates of both major parties, an interview process, and voting by two different deliberative bodies within the Club to determine which candidates best meet their environmental standards.  In particular, the Club looked at support for multiple issues this year including:

• Ensuring Open Space and Parks Get Proper Funding

• Banning Hydrofracking Waste

• Establishing Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards

• Renewed Participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

“The complicated endorsement process is done by Sierra Club members themselves on the ground and includes questionnaires and interviews. Our endorsements are so coveted because they’re done by the people being represented and because we’re the nation’s oldest and largest environmental group. We have 20,000 members and 60,000 supporters in New Jersey and we have endorsed candidates that we think will best represent us and the environment,” said Jeff Tittel.

Sierra Club members and voters are encouraged to take particular notice of the races in Districts 2, 7, 12, 14, 18, 27, 36 and 38, which are most likely to be close. Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-38) has been a champion on reducing climate change; he even drives a plug-in electric car. He is a strong supporter of the environment and we are proud to endorse him and Assemblyman Joseph Lagana for this election as well. Colin Bell, who is running in District 2, would be a leader in the legislature for New Jersey’s environment. His record as a Freeholder has been in support of protecting open space, renewable energy and the environment. We endorse him and Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo for District 2.

Our endorsed candidates have been leaders on many different environmental issues. For example, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora led the battle for passage of the Clean Car Law. Assemblyman John McKeon has been instrumental in securing critical environmental protections and policies for the state including the Highlands Act and measures to clean up Barnegat Bay. Assemblyman Herb Conaway and Assemblyman Troy Singleton have been integral in fighting against contaminants in the water, specifically 1,2,3-trichloroprane, by writing a bill that would set a limit for how much of this dangerous substance is allowed in New Jersey’s drinking water. Assemblyman Jamel Holley has been an advocate for environmental justice and supports legislation to protect open space in urban areas. Assemblywoman Annette Quijano helped establish 18 community gardens and supports the stewardship of natural resources for local agriculture.

“The Sierra Club is endorsing legislators who we believe have been fighting for the people of the New Jersey. Many of them are champions of the environment and we are proud to endorse them for the work they have done and the work that they will do in the future,” said Jeff Tittel. 

We proudly endorsed candidates who have a history of fighting against dirty energy and advocating for renewable energy and energy efficiency instead. Assemblyman Daniel Benson is a prime sponsor of A4224, which establishes renewable energy portfolio standards. Assemblywoman Mila Jasey has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation attempting to ban hydrofracking waste. Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan have bought fought against Pilgrim Pipeline and the Exxon settlement. Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio sponsored a resolution opposing the proposed PennEast Pipeline.

We are also excited to endorse new candidates this year. Kenneth Collins is an environmentalist who has fought against fracking and destructive pipelines such as the PennEast Pipeline. He has worked with the citizens in Roxbury to fight for the cleanup of the Fenimore Landfill. Avery Hart has a history of grassroots environmentalism with her non-profit Kinnelon Conserves that works towards reducing their community’s carbon footprint. We believe that these new candidates would make great additions to the legislature.

“We have endorsed these candidates that we believe will stand up for the environment and the people of New Jersey in the legislature. We support these new candidates who have shown their commitment to the environment by fighting for it at a local level. We hope to see them elected so they can continue to fight for it in the Assembly as well,” said Jeff Tittel. 

The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with over 700,000 members nationwide and 20,000 members in New Jersey.

“The Sierra Club endorsement is the environmental equivalent to the Good Housing Keeping Seal of Approval.  These candidates not only have strong environmental records but have the commitment and dedication and have done the work to make New Jersey a better place.  We also believe there are some very good challengers out there that will help move New Jersey forward by bringing in new ideas to make our state a better place environmentally,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.  “We are proud to endorse these candidates for the November 3rd election.”


Dist. Party Candidate

02 D* Vincent Mazzeo

02 D   Colin Bell

06 D* Louis Greenwald

06 D* Pamela Lampitt

07 D* Herb Conaway

07 D* Troy Singleton

10 R* David Wolfe

12 R* Robert Clifton

14 D* Daniel Benson

15 D* Reed Gusciora

15 D* Elizabeth Maher Muoio

18 D* Patrick Diegnan

18 D* Nancy Pinkin

19 D* Craig Coughlin

19 D* John Wisniewski

20 D* Jamel Holley

20 D* Annette Quijano

24 D  Ken Collins

26 D  Avery Hart

27 D* John McKeon

27 D* Mila Jasey

30 D  Jim Keady

32 D* Angelica Jimenez

33 D* Raj Mukherji

34 D* Sheila Oliver

34 D* Thomas Giblin

36 D* Gary Schaer

36 D* Marlene Caride

37 D* Valerie Huttle

37 D* Gordon Johnson

38 D* Timothy Eustace

38 D* Joseph Lagana

* Incumbent

Original article